Wherever I go in health care, I have gotten in the habit of asking these questions:
- Do you have ‘visiting hours’ or can family be present 24/7 in this hospital?
- Does this hospital/health care system have member/patient/family advisory councils?
In fact, I asked these very questions earlier this week at the beautiful Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital ( @HenryFordWBH ) (pictures coming soon).
The answers are not always “yes” and getting to “yes” is both (a) possible and (b) dependent on learning about the experiences of others who have done this. If you can make it to Washington, DC (and why wouldn’t you want to), you’ll get to touch base with the who’s who of health care systems who have done this.
That’s one important piece of knowledge to gain.
The other important piece of knowledge to gain is “what happens when an organization committed to patient and family involvement also walks the walk when it comes to planning its meetings?” I blogged about previously when I noticed that every abstract submission required proof of patient/family involvement (See: Promoting patient and family involvement – image from abstract submission form, Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care @IPFCC | Ted Eytan, MD.
And…one more thing…the conference is not just the conference, it includes an opportunity to learn where health care is delivered. The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care has also set up hospital tours, of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center:
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, the newest military hospital in the nation, serves as a model for military hospitals around the world. Patient and family advisors participated in the planning for this new facility that opened in 2011. The guiding principles to achieve the hospital’s mission, pursue its vision, and maintain the highest level of quality and service are the Culture of Excellence, Patient- and Family-Centered Care, and Evidence Based Design.
This is also an interest of mine – that when you go somewhere to learn about health care being delivered, that you leave the conference room and learn about it where it is being delivered.
The sad part for me is that I cannot go, only because I have assigned duties at DC Health Data and Innovation Week – however I have no qualms about encouraging people to come to Washington, DC to attend this conference. I will be at Health Data and Innovation Week bringing the lessons that I’ve learned from IPFCC, and in the end, innovation and health data are insignificant without the involvement of patients, people, and their families. There’s going to be crossover, specifically with The Walking Gallery, so it’s possible to do both. See you in Washington!