by Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | October 31, 2013
From the October 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
What other family engagement projects have you been working on?
The advisory councils have been pivotal in the development of processes in the hospital. For example, we engage the family advisory counseling for interviewing, so the families are involved in selecting the doctors that will care for their children. Their focus is really on physicians’ ability to recognize and appreciate the role of families in care. We’ve trained the families to not only look for cues within the physician’s report that they’re amenable to having families involved, but also to ask for examples of when they were specifically involved with families. I think that’s what they’re looking for — how did physicians find ways to partner with parents and the children in care.
Do you have any advice for other facilities that are interested in getting families more involved?
It’s a process. On some levels, it’s about relationship building, and anyone who’s involved in a relationship knows that it’s work and it’s not perfect, but it’s not about being perfect it’s about continually finding opportunities to improve. There have been some wonderful things that have come of the invitation for families to be part, one [example] you see is in photos of Nemours Children’s Hospital at night — our hospital is all lit up in multicolor. There’s a partnership between the Get Well Network and a lighting vendor and our family advisory council about how we can empower children and families to paint their room and paint the skyline with the LED light in their room. That’s a perfect representation of partnership, and for someone who’s considering going down this road of partnership, those are the opportunities that can come from it.
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