Turning a positive patient experience at BWFH into a rewarding role on the PFAC
"From the start it was really a positive experience," says Maier of her time as a patient at BWFH. It was so positive in fact, immediately after her surgery her husband wrote a letter to BWFH. In it he described how impressed he was with the care his wife received. The leadership team at BWFH took notice and invited the couple to make a presentation at the hospital’s Leadership Retreat.
In their presentation, the Maiers recounted their experience from both perspectives. "I took the approach of the patient and what my experience was 24/7. And my husband took the approach of a family member but also from a corporate point of view or business point of view," says Maier.
At the same time, BWFH was looking for members for their new PFAC. Maier was asked to join to provide perspective from the patient point of view. Maier was immediately struck by how customer focused the hospital was and was eager to be part of the group. Having formerly worked in the corporate world, she says of the PFAC at BWFH, "I had an idea of what it takes to run a business, except this is so customer focused, and I didn’t expect it to be." She goes on to say, "It’s really impressive and surprising."
Maier has remained involved with the PFAC over the years in part because of the dynamic group of people she works with and, she says, "I just love the medical profession and what it’s all about." Now it’s her fascination with the healthcare world that fuels her continued work to improve the patient experience at BWFH. "I find it so interesting," she says.
The PFAC was instrumental in designing the Taiclet Family Center, redesigning the process for preoperative check in to provide increased privacy for patients awaiting surgery and formatting and developing content of the new patient handbook, "Your Guide to Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital." For Maier, it’s interesting to see how ideas discussed at one meeting become implemented in the hospital in just a short time. "I feel they take the PFAC seriously," she says of the leadership at BWFH.
In the coming months, the PFAC will be involved in the design of the new services coming to the hospital and spend time focusing on Partners eCare. In fact, Maier was among those on the selection committee when Epic was chosen for the project.
Maier says, "Everybody is open and welcoming to the suggestions that we’re making." And she takes that role very seriously. After a recent hospital stay, she has a refreshed perspective on what it’s like to be a patient and has ideas for things we can do here to improve the patient experience at BWFH. "It’s rewarding to see the impact we make as a group," she says.