Family Advisory Board Annual Report
Family Advisory Board Annual Report

The Family Advisory Board (FAB) is dedicated to helping Children’s Mercy continue to provide the region’s best pediatric health care.  FAB members collaborate with hospital leadership to incorporate the perspectives of the patients, families and community into the care experience.  In 2014, Children’s Mercy was recognized by three national organizations for being leaders in patient- and family-centered care.

Children’s Mercy earned the prominent distinction of being a Profile of Change hospital by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.  This award recognizes the long-standing commitment of hospital leadership to partnering with patients and families. The FAB has played an integral role in ensuring that family engagement is an essential component of care at Children’s Mercy. 

Children's Mercy was also recognized as one of the Caregiver Action Network's  "25 of the Nation's Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement." These exemplary practices showcase how patients, caregivers, hospital staff, and hospital systems have created new and innovative programs that are helping to ensure healthier outcomes for patients. Actively listening to patients, creating genuine partnerships between providers and family caregivers and the willingness to learn from mistakes are some of the key elements common to these best practices.

 The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the national LGBT benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBT patients, visitors and employees, designated Children’s Mercy as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. The HEI 2014 evaluates a total of 1,504 healthcare facilities nationwide.

Members of the Family Advisory Board continued to serve as essential committee members on the 10 Solutions for Patient Safety Hospital Acquired Conditions committees.  Input from FAB members has proven to be a valuable component for each of these committees.  Additionally, the Family Centered Care (FCC) Coordinators joined the Solutions for Patient Safety Family Engagement Leadership Team.

 As the Hospital prepared for the installation of GetWell Network, FAB members participated on the Patient Safety, Pain Management, Patient-Family Education, and Discharge Process workgroups.  In addition, members of FAB worked with the Transition Committee in the creation of a formalized transition program which includes a webpage and a newsletter for families.

The FCC Department partnered with FAB to create a new Patient- and Family-Centered Care Brochure Series.  The first two brochures published were Family-Centered Rounds and Visiting Tips.  New Journeys, a handbook created by FAB for families of children receiving a new diagnosis, was revised based on suggestions from a FAB workgroup. To date, over 2,600 copies in English and 500 copies in Spanish have been distributed to families.

Families played an integral role in patient- and family-centered care education for staff, families, and the community.  FAB assisted in the development of educational videos including Service Excellence, Central Line Care, and Working Wonders.  FAB continued to participate in the Family as Faculty program which included providing an orientation luncheon for the new residents as well as hosting residents in their homes. Discover Children’s Mercy, a mini-internship for community leaders, began featuring a families’ story at the beginning of each session.

The value of FAB’s perspective was evidenced by the number of departments that requested to present to the Family Advisory Board.  Over the course of the year, feedback was given on the BEACON program, the patient portal, trauma informed care, and patient financial services. Government Relations, Food Services, and Security shared updates from their departments.

FAB members helped ensure that the physical environment continues to meet the needs of patients and families. Three members serve as active participants on the First Impressions Steering Committee. In 2014, the Accessible Family Care Station opened, valet parking was implemented, and additional accessible parking spaces were designated.  FAB provided insight on the new Gift Shop, the redesign of the Kreamer Resource Center for Families, and the creation of Clear Care communication boards for the inpatient rooms.

The commitment of FAB members to Children’s Mercy is visible beyond their Board responsibilities.  Individual members have gone above and beyond in a variety of ways including volunteering on inpatient units and during Special Events for families, fundraising with the Department of Philanthropy, and funding a research grant for treatments for childhood cancer.  They have also served as Peer Mentors in the Parents Offering Parent Support (POPS) program which is managed by the FCC Coordinators and has provided peer support to over 350 families.

Families also represented Children’s Mercy on a national level.  FCC Coordinators presented at the 6th International Conference on Patient- and Family-Centered Care and featured a video with testimonies from Hospital Leaders and FAB members.  FAB members served in leadership roles with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Institute for Pediatric Innovation, Cure SMA, Global Genes, and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.  Additionally, members continue to be engaged in the community by partnering with a variety of organizations in the Kansas City area.   

FAB Alumni remained involved in multiple projects including serving as Peer Mentors in the POPS program and participating in a Death and Dying workshop for resident education.  Friends of FAB were guests at the Annual Meeting and provided updates from Congenital Heart Defects Families Association, Hem/Onc Parent to Parent, El Consejo de Familias Latinas/Hispanas, and ICN Family Staff Advisory Council.  The Irritable Bowel Disease Parent Advisory Team (IBD PAT) was established to provide disease specific collaboration between families and clinicians.

Inside Pediatrics, the six-part series following the medical journeys of families and the life-changing experiences at Children's Mercy, debuted in December. Because of the impact of FAB on the culture of patient- and family-centered care at Children’s Mercy, members were invited to attend the Inside Pediatrics Premiere Party at Starlight Theater.  This unique docuseries captured patient’s and families’ inspiring stories through challenges and triumphs as they found health, healing, and hope.

The members of the Family Advisory Board are grateful to the Hospital Leadership for their ongoing support and commitment to patients and families.  We look forward to continuing the partnership with Children’s Mercy as nationally recognized leaders in patient- and family-centered care.  Thank you for transforming the lives of our patients and their families by transforming health care.

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