MLHS needs community input

The Mille Lacs Health System Patient Family Advisory Council (or PFAC) is a committee that is sanctioned and strongly encouraged by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), who wants hospitals to have “authentic patient and family engagement.” It is made up of community members who meet once a month, and is a structured program designed to help hospitals build relationships with their patients. It’s part of the larger, nationwide Partnerships for Patients Program.

The PFAC is a committee that belongs to the patients/families MLHS serves. It is not a “staff committee.” PFAC patient/family members’ input relates to what they see through their eyes and not staff eyes. PFAC patient/family members can bring to meetings information or questions regarding hospital stays, clinic visits, interactions with our service lines and departments, or even our physical plant. When a member reports something at a meeting, a plan is discussed to address the concern, and the plan is followed through and reported on.

“Most importantly,” said Kathy Smude, PFAC Facilitator, “the PFAC is not in existence to become a negative sounding board but a group that helps the facility be more transparent. The facility can, and needs to, listen to their patient’s concerns as not all concerns are formally reported. It is also a place rumors in the community can be discussed and the truth shared.” It is an opportunity for staff to fix or improve whatever issue is brought forward. “It puts us face-to-face with the patients we serve,” Smude said, “and this is good, because we really do want the patients to come first at MLHS.”

If you would like to be on this committee, call Smude at (320) 532-2653.

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