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COVID-19 Update

Patient and Family Advisory Councils at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we are committed to partnering with patients, families, and caregivers throughout their healthcare experience. There are seven patient and family advisory councils at The Johns Hopkins Hospital with over 200 members that include patients, family members and hospital staff. Each PFAC meets for two hours in the evening, once a month.

  • Read Our Newsletter

    This newsletter (PDF) is published biweekly since April 2020 and provides a variety of updates and resources to our PFAC members.

  • See Our 2020 Accomplishments

    Read our annual report (PDF) to learn more about the activities, accomplishments and 2021 goals of each of our councils.

How to Join

If you or someone you love received care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and have ideas to help improve care for patients and families, we invite you to join one of our councils as a patient and family advisor. Your voice matters to us and will help us improve the care we provide to all.

To join the Teen and Children's Council, please fill out this application.

To join any of the other councils, please use this link:

Submit Application

For more information, email us or call 443-287-0110.

Discover more opportunities at The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Office of Volunteer Services.

PFAC Committees

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital Board of Trustees Patient Safety and Quality Committee
  • Children’s Center Nursing Quality and Safety Committee
  • Ethics Committee
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine Clinical Community
  • Surgical Quality Improvement Committees
  • Patient Experience Committee
  • Pediatric Safety and Infection Control Committee

PFACs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

  • Adult Council

    The Adult Patient & Family Advisory Council advocates on behalf of patients and families of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for the provision of the highest quality of patient- and family-centered care. The Council infuses the voice of the patient into every aspect of the Hospital so that all patients receive optimum patient-centered care.

    Council meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month.

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • PFAC members participated in a focus group during the Planetree Person-Centered Care Certification site visit that occurred in August, 2019. The Johns Hopkins Hospital was awarded gold certification.
    • 1 member participated in a “Zoom virtual visit” simulation to prep Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) students to call family members of inpatients.
    • Started a PFAC COVID-19 Newsletter to share important and updated information with our PFAC members. It includes websites and resources, open committees and current projects, webinars and articles from national PFCC organizations, etc.
    • Provided feedback on the “Score Your Fall Risk” flyer used on inpatient units for fall prevention patient education.
    • PFAC member acted as the liaison between The Johns Hopkins Hospital and her community to sew and donate over 700 masks and 100 headbands to the hospital.
  • Pediatric Council

    Parents or legal guardians whose child has experienced care at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and any hospital staff members are welcome to apply for membership. The application process includes submitting an application, participating in an interview and completing the volunteer recruitment process. The PFAC seeks a membership that is diverse with respect to culture, race, religion, age, sexual preference and socioeconomic and educational background.

    Learn More and Apply

  • Teen and Children's Council

    All patients and siblings served by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and any hospital staff members are welcome to apply for membership in the Teen and Children’s Council (TACC). The application process includes submitting an application, participating in an interview and completing the volunteer recruitment process. The TACC seeks a membership that is diverse with respect to culture, race, religion, age, sexual preference and socioeconomic and educational background.

    Learn More and Apply

  • Department of Emergency Medicine Council

    The Department of Emergency Medicine is looking for volunteers so serve on our patient and family advisory council and share their insights and ideas to improve the experience of patients and their family members in our emergency department.

    If you would like more information on the council, please email EDPatientCouncil@jhmi.edu.

    Your Responsibilities as a Council Member

    • Attend monthly meetings (typically held Wednesday evenings, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.*)
    • Review emergency medicine practices from a patient/family centered care point of view
    • Provide ideas for the Emergency Department to better serve patients and their families
    • Help improve the patient and family experience

    * Parking vouchers and food will be provided for meetings

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • PFAC member volunteered to join a Johns Hopkins Medicine Marketing Web Content Advisory group to review COVID-19 related content and material for Johns Hopkins Medicine websites for compassionate language and understandability.
    • Involved in the Adult Emergency Department redesign by providing feedback on furniture, printed visitor map, traffic flow, etc.
    • PFAC Member participated in the conference call series for the new Gozio Wayfinding Navigation app that will be installed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
    • Provided input on the S.A.F.E.R. Simulation for the Adult Emergency Department. This simulation tests security operational readiness and communication to waiting area visitors in the event of an emergency situation.
    • Worked with Emergency Department staff on the triage scripting for The Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department Patient Experience initiative “AIDER and Purposeful Rounding,” which is a method to help improve patient outcomes and communications skills with patients from staff.
  • Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Oncology Council

    The Patient and Family Advisory Council at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) is dedicated to promoting a culture of patient and family-centered care. Each month, members hear from a variety of speakers who update the council on developments at SKCCC. Many council members also participate in the decision-making process at the SKCCC by serving on committees and workgroups outside of the regular meetings.

    Your Responsibilities as a Council Member

    • Attend monthly meetings on the first Thursday of the month
    • Encourage dialogue and an ongoing relationship with SKCCC leadership, providers and staff and collaborate in planning and delivery of new and revised programs and services.
    • Provide feedback/brainstorm ideas representing the patient/caregiver perspective on a variety of cancer care aspects.
    • Learn about issues of concern/interest and create opportunities to improve the experience for patients and caregivers, including research, medical treatment and support services.

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Added more PFAC members to committees at SKCCC and The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    • Brainstormed ideas for The Johns Hopkins Hospital Strategic Planning initiative, development of oncology mobile apps, MyChart Bedside, patient education tools, fall prevention signage, workplace violence signage, RTLS badges, check-in at Viragh, medication take-back program publicity and signage, suggestions for SKCCC website
    • Meeting presentations on a variety of topics including: the new Breast Center at Greenspring Station, Maryland reimbursement model, cancer treatment disparities, SKCCC security, new Proton Center, new Integrative Medicine Center at Sibley, Called to Care program, Hopkins Virtual Advisors program, cancer-related fatigue, central line blood draws, cancer survivorship program in radiation oncology
    • Stepped up recruiting efforts with information tables at several SKCCC events, adding a dozen new members
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital Ambulatory (Outpatient) Council

    With a goal of creating an ideal patient experience at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, the Ambulatory PFAC focuses on four components of the outpatient visit:

    • Pre-visit and screening
    • Arrival and check-in
    • Visit and treatment
    • Check-out and post-visit follow-up

    The group meets on the third Thursday of every month.

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Advised Marketing and Communication on Johns Hopkins COVID return to normal
    • PFAC member participated in a “Zoom virtual visit” simulation to prep Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) students to call family members of inpatients.
    • PFAC members volunteered to join a Johns Hopkins Medicine Marketing Web Content Advisory group to review COVID-19 related content and material for Johns Hopkins Medicine websites for compassionate language and understandability. Healing Environments
    • Advised on garage parking signage and systems that identify the garage and level of where the patient parked; Implemented Remember Level Take Card in McElderry Garage
    • Advised Medicine CUSP workgroup on the clinic visit medication reconciliation
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy Council

    This is a newly formed patient and family advisory council. Check back for more information about our goals and participation criteria.

Patient Advisor Role and Responsibilities

Patients and their families are knowledgeable members of the care team and can offer unique perspectives and valuable feedback about their experience at a hospital. Learn more about what it’s like serving on a PFAC.

  • The Purpose and Responsibilities of a PFAC
    • Serve as a communication channel and improve relationships between patients, families and hospital staff.
    • Provide a way for patients and families to assist in evaluating and providing input on the delivery of services to patients.
    • Collaborate as partners with staff, physicians, and administration in the planning and operation of programs to enhance care and services.
    • Provide opportunities for staff to listen to their customers.
    • Establish a link between the hospital and the community at large.
  • What You Might Do During a PFAC Meeting
    • Share your healthcare experience with doctors, staff and other advisors.
    • Participate in group discussions to talk about ideas for how a hospital can improve its care, quality, safety, and services.
    • Provide insight from the patient and family perspective about hospital policies, care practices, and patient education materials.
    • Identify patient and family needs and concerns.
    • Serve on subcommittees and workgroups to help bring the patient and family perspective to these efforts.
    • Encourage and support patient-centered care across the institution.
  • What Is Patient- and Family-Centered Care?

    The philosophy of patient- and family-centered care focuses on:

    • Respect for patients' values, preferences, and needs.
    • Coordination of care for more efficiency.
    • Comfort and emotional support for mental health.
    • Information, communication, and education.
    • Involvement of family and friends.
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