Speakers: Bert Thurlo-Walsh, RN MM CPHQ and Gloria Stone Plottel, MS MBA
Bert Thurlo-Walsh is the Associate Chief Quality Officer and Vice President of Patient Experience and Medical Staff Services at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. Bert is responsible for the management and oversight of the Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, Risk Management, Patient Relations, Infection Control, Interpreter Services, Case Management, Medical Staff Services, Service Excellence and Patient Experience activities at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Bert has over 30 years of experience in healthcare, with over 10 years in Quality and Patient Safety. Past experience included the Director of Quality and Patient Safety at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Massachusetts and Manager for Nursing Quality and Patient Safety at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Florida. Bert holds two Bachelor’s degrees; one in Natural Science & Mathematics and the other in Nursing. He has his Masters in Management, Healthcare and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). He is an active member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality and Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Healthcare Quality.
Gloria Stone Plottel is the Founder and CEO of GSPsquared LLC, a strategic healthcare consultancy. Gloria’s work includes co-founding, managing, and leading Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) for 13 years. She created the 5 Stage Process Flow with metrics, a quality improvement method, to ensure integration of PFAC advice into hospital operations to improve quality, safety, and experience; and launched the method for two years. Gloria developed and presented educational materials for NAHQ, HRET, The Beryl Institute, Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, New England Society for Healthcare Strategy, Partners HealthCare, and Atrius Health. She serves on several national boards focused on patient-and-family-centered care, and is a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. Gloria’s training includes an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business, an MS from the State University of New York, and a BA from Boston University.
This Learning Lab covers the 5-Stage Process for Ensuring Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) advice is implemented to improve patient experience and quality. Newton-Wellesley Hospital has been collaborating with its PFAC to improve quality and patient and family engagement in the hospital’s departments. At PFAC meetings, health system leaders have discussions with PFAC about problems and receive experience-based solutions – something satisfaction surveys can not provide.
To implement PFAC advice, a 5-Stage Process Flow was designed with corresponding metrics at each stage to track and measure progress. A trained PFAC Member facilitator works with staff on the five stages over a 12-14 month time frame. The goal is for staff to implement the PFAC advice and to sustain improvements.
Implementing PFAC advice has had strong positive impact on improving hospital services. One example, the GI Unit’s patient satisfaction scores rose five mean percentage points from the low 90’s to high 90’s for a perception of care and was sustained.
However, other staff had varying success implementing PFAC advice due to variation in training, workload, and culture.
- Define and explain how Patient and Family Advisory Councils contribute to increasing patient- and family-centered engagement/experience and to quality improvement.
- Describe the 5-Stage Process Flow and metrics associated with the implementation of Patient and Family Advisory Council advice or feedback.