When you or someone in your family becomes ill, the entire family needs care. In order to create a true healing environment, we make every effort to support patients, families and care partners, communicate fully and frequently, and make shared decisions. We view patients and family as partners in care. We call this Patient- and Family-Centered Care, or PFCC.
Patient- and Family-Centered Care is a model of providing care that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each patient and family and encourages and empowers them to partner with your health care team. Opinions are asked, values are respected and family members are viewed as key members of the health care team. This partnership will provide you and your family with the best opportunity to heal.
The core principles of Patient- and Family-Centered Care are:
- Providing dignified and respectful care by listening to and honoring each patient and family’s personal values, practices and beliefs throughout all phases of care
- Communicating and sharing accurate and complete information with patients and families in a timely manner in order to build trust and partnership
- Creating an environment where families not only have the right to advocate for their patient but are welcomed to do so without barriers
- Encouraging patients and families to participate in decision-making at the level they choose
- Providing opportunities for patients and families to collaborate with staff, faculty and students to help create new and improved policies, programs and services by sharing experiences, advice and wisdom gained through their personal health care experiences.
What is a patient and family Advisor?
Advisors are patient and family volunteers who work with UAMS care providers and staff to enhance the quality and safety of health care experiences and improve the health care experience for everyone. This partnership fosters the philosophy of patient and family centered care that is central to our services at UAMS.
As part of a continuing process to include patients and families in everything from creating guidebooks to interviewing residents, UAMS has 14 advisory councils. These councils cover inpatient, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, outpatient, women’s health, primary care, behavioral health and employees as patients.
How do I become an Advisor?
- Complete an application form and submit to UAMS Volunteer Services.
Who can be an Advisor?
Any patient who has received or is currently receiving care at UAMS may serve as an Advisor. We will ask our Advisors about volunteering two or more hours per month.
Family members also may be Advisors if their loved ones have received or are currently receiving care at UAMS.
What are the qualities of an Advisor?
Patient and family Advisors:
- Share insights and experiences in productive ways
- See beyond their own personal experiences
- Respect diversity and differing opinions
- Are good listeners
- Collaborate on solutions
- Are passionate about enhancing the health care experience
How do Advisors partner with UAMS staff?
Patient and family advisors support patient safety and quality and enhance the care experience in several ways:
Advisory Council Membership
Advisors work in partnership with staff, nurses and doctors to enhance quality and safety and create exceptional patient and family experiences. Members plan agendas and address issues at an executive or strategic planning level. Councils can vary from hospital-wide, to unit/department level, to a specific demographic (i.e. Cystic Fibrosis).
Virtual Advisory Council
Advisors participate through technology on hospital policies, practices and health education materials. This advisory role is ideal for those who can’t participate in person due to chronic illness or disease progression.
Advisors design, implement and evaluate health care programs and policies that help ensure the best possible care for patients and their families.
Patients and caregivers help to design new or remodel existing facilities. Advisor participation runs the gamut from design to operations to activation to moving into the new space.
Advisors serve on committees and take active roles in helping with guidelines and processes. Advisors join existing, often long-standing, groups ranging from front-line unit committees to executive level planning committees dedicated to increasing the quality and safety of the patient and family experience. Examples include patient safety, patient experience, patient and family education, leadership teams, human resources and health care education.
Advisors participate in one-time discussion groups focused on a particular department or service. Examples include creating a healing environment, assisting with facilities design, My Chart-patient portal, admissions, etc.
Office of Patient Experience
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham, Slot 740
Little Rock, AR 72205
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.