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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Patient, family involvement key to PFCC

Doctor Helps patient
By Kevin S. Abel, Social Media Manager, Charleston VAMC
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Medical Care and the treatment of Veterans is not just about treating a combat wound or a mental health condition. It’s about treating the patient as a whole and getting them involved in their treatment.

Patient and family centered care is an approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients and families. PFCC redefines the provider/patient relationship empowering patients and families to make decisions on their health while showing them respect for their service.
“By embracing this cultural transformation of Veteran (Patient) and Family Centered Care, we will become a respected leader of change in the health care community,” said Joy Fealy-Kalar, PFCC Coordinator.  “Patient and Family Centered Care is not a program.  It is a cultural transformation of how we serve our Veterans and their families.” 

PFCC  helps shape policies, programs, facility design, and day-to-day interactions. The goals of PFCC are better health outcomes, wiser allocation of resources, and greater patient and family satisfaction.

As part of PFCC transformation, the VAMC has undertaken efforts to make the facility more family friendly. A new Patient and Family Centered Care Lounge is being built. It includes comfortable seating, computers with internet access, TV/VCR combo for entertainment, a small kitchenette, and a children play area. It also will have a family bathroom as well as a nursing mothers’ room for use by both families and staff.

The VAMC has also implemented PFCC on inpatient units.  A Daily Plan is now being piloted on 4B North. The plan is given to each patient every morning to explain the care plan for the day, encouraging the Veteran to ask  questions and be involved in the care plan.

“This gives the patient the ability to make more informed decision about their care,” said 4BN Nurse Manager Ray Kornegay.


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