The Family Advisory Board (FAB) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in January 2013. In reflecting on the first ten years, we recognize the accomplishments that have been possible due to the partnership between families and staff. Our guidelines were updated to best support the growth and evolvement of the hospital. FAB has helped Children’s Mercy strengthen its role as a leader in psychosocial care throughout children’s hospitals.
FAB members represented the voice of the patients and families on many hospital initiatives. They have become valuable members on the ten committees designed by the Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety collaborative to reduce Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC’s). Additional committees that include FAB participation are First Impressions, Medical Home, Patient Engagement Demo Systems, Comprehensive Care Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs, and Violence Prevention.
Collaboration from FAB members resulted in the construction of an Accessible Family Care Station on the ground level of the hospital. This room is designed to provide patients, families, employees, and guests with an accessible and private area to attend to personal care needs. Additionally, FAB members made recommendations regarding the guidelines for the new parent rooms on the inpatient units.
Families played an integral role in the patient- and family-centered care education for staff and families. FAB assisted in the development of the ICN orientation video, PICU orientation video, and the Adele Hall Family Video. 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. One member recorded a Good Morning Children’s Mercy podcast about Patient Family Advisors, and another member co-presented an Ethics Brown Bag lecture entitled “This is My Child, This is Your Patient” with the Family Centered Care Coordinators.
Throughout 2013, transition and access remained priorities for the Family Advisory Board. FAB members collaborated with staff to compile a list of what families need from a transition program. Members attended and volunteered at the “Transition from Pediatrics to Adulthood Community Resource Fair”. In December, an announcement was made that a Manager for Transition had been hired. As a part of the regular FAB agenda, updates on Project Clinic Access were presented throughout the year.
FAB provided valuable feedback on the Family Centered Care Policy as well as on the design of the new Children’s Mercy website. They also reviewed programs and information aimed for families including the Pediatric Emergency Form, No Hit Zone, Crib Safety, ROSE (Recognizes Outstanding Service Excellence) brochure, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Education, Parent Medication Flipbook for the Emergency Department, and the Ambulatory Clinic appointment reminder letters.
FAB members continue to be engaged in the community by partnering with various organizations including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Circle of Care at the Kaufman Center, Parenting Children with Special Needs, the Health Care Foundation of Kansas City, Turner Syndrome Society of Kansas City, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, Angels with Missing Pieces and many others.
FAB Alumni remained involved in multiple projects including the creation of a video entitled “About Your Surgery” and participation 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.
In addition to their work for FAB, several members volunteered in other capacities throughout Children’s Mercy. These volunteer assignments include participation in the Snowflake Shoppe for families, Mercy Ambassadors, ICN Concierge Program, Parents Offering Parent Support, and multiple fundraising events.
In 2014, FAB will continue to partner with staff to improve the quality and delivery of care at Children’s Mercy. The collaboration between FAB members and hospital staff has significantly benefitted our patients and families. Members of the Family Advisory Board would like to thank the hospital leadership for their ongoing support.