Patient & Family Advisory Council

What is a Patient & Family Advisory Council?

A Patient &Family Advisory Council (PFAC) partners patients and families with members of the healthcare team to provide guidance on how to improve the patient and family experience. As part of this PFAC process, patients and families are invited to serve on hospital committees to ensure the consumer’s point of view, perspective and experience are not only heard, but also integrated into the service and quality improvements that ensure high-quality, customer-centered care. Through their unique perspectives, patient and families give input on issues that impact care, ensuring the next patient or family member’s journey is easier.

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About Overlake's PFAC

​Overlake's Patient & Family Advisory Council was launched in 2015 as a board-mandated initiative. While other hospitals sponsor and run their PFAC program in a variety of ways, PFAC is hosted at Overlake by the patient experience department.

The program's objectives are threefold:

  1. Support "exceptional patient care and a superior patient experience," which to us means encouraging a culture where patient and family-centered care is a solid, dependable foundation in all we do.
  2. Facilitate the inclusion of patients and families as central partners of their own care team.
  3. Represent and advocate for the patient voice in decisions and future direction of Overlake.

The group works toward these objectives by listening to patient and family needs and by educating employee liaisons on the Council, so they can serve as champions for patient and family centered care enterprise-wide. It also works by integrating our advisors into Overlake care and operations committees so the patient voice is present in meetings where planning conversations happen and where decisions are made about the design, delivery and evaluation of healthcare.

Our PFAC members adhere to the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care's four guiding principles:

  • Dignity and Respect. Healthcare practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing. Healthcare practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  • Participation. Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration. Patients, families, healthcare practitioners and leaders collaborate in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation, in healthcare facility design, and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.

Ideal candidates possess the following attributes:

  • Ability to share insights and information about healthcare experiences in ways others can learn.
  • See beyond their personal experiences.
  • Show concern for more than one issue or agenda.
  • Listen well.
  • Respect the perspectives of others and share empathy.
  • Speak comfortably in a group with candor.
  • Interact well with people of many different styles and backgrounds.
  • Work in partnership with others for the betterment of Overlake and the Eastside community.

How to Become an Advisor

All Overlake Medical Center, volunteers are required to complete the required onboarding process prior to beginning their role as a Patient and Family Advisor.

Onboarding includes:

  1. Submit online volunteer application.
  2. Phone interview with our Volunteer Resource Specialist.
  3. Attend in-person interview with Patient Experience.
  4. Background check and health requirements.
  5. Attend Volunteer Services Group Orientation.
  6. Meet with the director of patient experience to begin PFAC onboarding.

Questions & Inquiries

For general questions about Overlake Medical Center’s PFAC, please contact either the director of patient experience by email, or the volunteer resource specialist by email.