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PFAC Activities

Highlights of Lowell General Hospital PFAC activities for the period October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014

PFAC Accomplishments

  • On July 30, 2014, Paul Murray, PFAC co-chair, was invited to testify before the Department of Health, on behalf of PFAC, regarding the Lowell General effort to establish an affiliation with Tufts Medical. The testimony given, focused on the benefits of this affiliation to our patients and the community.
  • For some years, the hospital had been considering development of a comprehensive Diabetes program. Several members of the PFAC actively petitioned the hospital to move forward as there was a dearth of organized services in the local community. The hospital engaged with a community endocrinologist to act as Medical Director and a Diabetes clinic was established in the new Saab building on the Saints campus. The program offers 1:1 patient education classes as well as group classes. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) accredited the program in late September 2013.
  • The PFAC has created a Membership Subcommittee to identify and recruit new members. The subcommittee is led by a patient/family member and supported by the Patient Experience Manager. A report is given at each meeting. The subcommittee developed a new brochure in conjunction with the Public Relations office. A copy of PFAC brochure is available upon request.

PFAC Guest Speakers

The PFAC members continue to learn about Lowell General Hospital’s current service lines and improvement projects by inviting guests from within the hospital and occasionally outside of the hospital to present their area of expertise. This allows the PFAC to delve deeply into the subject matter, ask questions and have the opportunity to share feedback. This year, PFAC hosted guest speakers to discuss PFAC interest areas as well as to further the group’s learning. Some of the 2013-2014 PFAC speakers include:

  • Michelle Davis, RN, MS, FACHE, Vice President of External Affairs, joined the meeting with her colleagues, Amanda Clermont and Heather Hilbert, to discuss the Community Benefits program. This includes programs and services designed to improve health in the local service area and increase access to healthcare. The 2014 program focus includes chronic disease, mental health, substance abuse, and community health improvement. With community input so important to the process, the PFAC was asked to help target underserved populations and serve as an advisory group.
  • Deb Wachenheim, Health Quality Manager, Health Care for All (HCFA). Ms. Wachenheim coordinates HCFA’s policy work on health care quality issues and she works with Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) across the Commonwealth. She coordinated the first Massachusetts PFAC conference and shared plans for the next annual conference in May 2014. Her presentation included how Health Care for All can support individual PFACs and PFACs across the state. HFCA serves as a hub for information to flow across PFACs and for ongoing networking to occur.
  • Diane Regan, RN, Director of Emergency Services, and Ed Travers, RN, Clinical Manager of the Emergency Department at the LGH Main Campus, joined the Council to update members regarding the improvement work that is underway in the Emergency Department, such as a First Encounters Taskforce.
  • Janet Liddell, RN, Manager of Performance Improvement, and Carol Gagne, Director of Mission and Chaplaincy, at Lowell General Hospital joined the meeting. Mrs. Liddell presented information on MOLST, Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. She explained the objective of MOLST, the goal for statewide adoption, and the opportunity it provides for improving end-of-life care. Mrs. Gagne presented “Connecting Conversations” and described the initiative. This program, which was also introduced this year, and is designed to help people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.
  • Andrea Erickson, RN, Director of Critical Care Inpatient Services, presented on the Critical Care division which included the following:
  1. An introduction to who the members are within the division.
  2. The number of beds in each unit and patients served annually.
  3. Cross campus coverage.
  4. Alignment of practices across campuses.
  5. Intensive Care Unit quality improvement projects.
  6. Quiet time initiative.
  7. Intermediate Care areas initiative- No pass zone.
  8. Falls prevention initiative.
  9. Quality data associated with these initiatives

Please click here to view the entire Lowell General Hospital PFAC Annual Report for 2013-2014.

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