Patients who have experience with our outpatient departments are perhaps our best resource for advising us on the outpatient experience. Howard County General Hospital regularly solicits input from our patients through this unique volunteer opportunity, the Outpatient Center Advisory Council (OCAC). Started in 2010, the accomplishments of this group are many – and they are redefining how we approach our daily business of “patient-centered care.”
What is Patient and Family Centered Care?
Health care leaders of today are faced with improving health care quality and safety. We realize that the most important perspective, one that we have not always sought, is that of the patient and family. In creating the Outpatient Center Advisory Council, the leadership of HCGH has recognized that we are partners in the planning, delivery and the evaluation of the quality and safety provided in our center. Studies show that when this partnership exists, the quality and safety of health care improves, as well as a demonstrated decrease in costs, and that patient satisfaction increases.
In this patient-centered approach, treatments are done with the patient and family rather than to and for them. This requires a true commitment to exploring and evaluating new ways to involve the patient and family in their own care.
Core concepts of this model include:
- Dignity and Respect – Healthcare providers seek to hear and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. There is consideration to the knowledge, beliefs, culture and values of the patient and family.
- Information Sharing – Health care providers communicate honestly, timely, with complete and accurate information to participate in decision-making and care.
- Participation – The participation of patients and families are encouraged and supported to the level they wish.
- Collaboration – The patient and family are partners and collaborate with health care providers in health care delivery and other levels of operations.
What departments make up The Outpatient Center?
- Outpatient Lab
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Cardiac Diagnostics
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Pulmonary Rehab
- Echocardiogram (ECHO)
- Outpatient Rehabilitation
- The Center for Wound Healing
- Outpatient Administrative Services
What are the purpose and goals of the OCAC?
The purpose of this committee is to strengthen communication and collaboration among patients, families, caregivers, and staff; to promote patient and family advocacy and involvement; and to propose and participate in developing hospital and community programs, services and policies. The committee meets every other month for two hours. Subgroup participation is encouraged and requested on an ad hoc basis. The term for serving on this committee is unlimited.
- to provide input to HCGH leadership to facilitate patient safety, care, and good will
- to facilitate open reciprocal patient/management lines of communication to aid in identification and resolution of patient issues
- to provide input to help establish educational solutions which are beneficial to patients and staff
Who can serve on the OCAC?
Patients or their family members who have experienced clinic or outpatient care at Howard County General Hospital in the past year may submit an application to serve on this committee. Refer to the full description for details.
Who are the leaders of OCAC?
A few key hospital leadership members in the outpatient center facilitate the meetings. Elected officers are a chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Officers serve for two years and may be re-elected.
Chairperson: Joe Slert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chairperson: Thomas Clark, email@example.com
What have OCAC members accomplished?
The OCAC committee has been a valuable advisory group, helping hospital administration to better understand the patient perspective and their needs.
- Developed a Mission Statement for OCAC.
- Developed job descriptions for OCAC member and officer positions.
- Recommended re-engineering of the oxygen towers located in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Gym.
- Provided recommendations on handicapped parking spot functionality in the hospital parking lots resulting in numerous additional visitor disabled parking spaces and separate employee disabled parking.
- Participated in a Valet survey for cash benefit analysis by the hospital.
- Raised awareness of the necessity for Security to police used visitor passes from the entrance to the hospital.
- Created a “standing order” renewal process to assist lab patients in properly identifying and obtaining new standing orders in a timely manner.
- Successfully recommended for purchase the re-fitting of many hospital doorways with infrared sensors and automation openers compatible with use by physically challenged patients and enhancing their safety.
- Assembled a new OCAC member orientation packet.
- Developed the OCAC web site.
- Committee members recommended that the hospital hold educational seminars on Medicare for patients.
- Participate in Howard County Regional Partnership for Health System Transformation.
- Develop and sponsor Peer2Peer, a mentorship program for stoke patients suffering from aphasia.
- Participate in the Armstrong Clinical Community for Patient and Family Centered Care.
- Sponsor and help initiate a new program for Animal Assisted Activities/Animal Assisted Therapy.
- Sponsor a café – a focus group in the community to seek feedback.
OCAC Member Job Description
For questions, please contact the following or e-mail the chairperson, Joe Slert, at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Manager, Cardiac & Pulmonary Services
Hospital Leadership Involved in OCAC
Manager, Cardiac and Pulmonary Services
Kim Scribner, CPAM
Director of Revenue Cycle
Manager MRI / CT Services
Clinical Program Manager,
The Center for Wound Healing
Clinical Coordinator, Pharmacy