Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit integrated health system dedicated to improving health, inspiring hope, and saving lives. Based in West Michigan, Spectrum Health offers a full continuum of care through 14 hospitals; 230 ambulatory and service sites; comprehensive post-acute care services; 4,200 medical staff experts; and Priority Health, a health plan.
The system engages patients and families to help improve all aspects of the health care experience, together with multidisciplinary care teams in its hospitals, physician offices, integrated care campuses, ambulatory sites, and telehealth offerings. Spectrum Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Council work began in 2006. Now the system has 18 PFACs—for clinical service lines and for regional community hospitals. The expansive work of the PFACs is summarized in the 2018 PFAC Impact Statement. Each PFAC addresses the full range of patients’ needs, both inpatient and outpatient.
According to James Bonner, Senior Director, Safety and Patient Experience, “Through the collective contribution of our 18 PFACs, we’ve made organizational and operational decisions that impact care, and continue to drive our strategy and transform our care model.”
In 2018 and 2019, Spectrum Health’s PFACs focused on important initiatives related to improving ambulatory care:
Primary Health PFAC:
For patients with chronic diseases who require quick and easy access to health care, this PFAC evaluated multiple options, including partnering with a local retailer to provide low acuity care in a clinic setting. Members also provided input on a virtual offering for patients managing chronic issues. The “Med Now Chronic Care” checkup pilot program builds in a telemedicine visit for patients with their primary care office to review lab results and change medications.
The Urgent Care leadership team rounded with the PFAC through the West Pavilion Urgent Care. Members shared their expectations for care in this setting, “Same experience and quality of care as my PCP; just faster paced.” PFAC feedback on the triage entrance and the need for more privacy for the patient has already been addressed.
Orthopedic Health PFAC:
For outpatient, same day, total joint replacements, the PFAC reviewed selection criteria, after care, pain management, and rehabilitation care plans. They also gave input on all patient-facing materials and education classes.
Gerber Memorial PFAC:
The PFAC viewed firsthand what patients experience while receiving walk-in clinic and outpatient rehabilitation services at Gerber’s Newaygo location. Recommendations were made about maximizing limited space for the high volume of patients.
Spectrum’s patient and family advisors value their work and the contribution they make to their own communities, “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to help create positive experiences across the system from lab to radiology to integrated health.” (Kristen Myers-Chatman, PFA)