Thursday, October 25, 2007

New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Community Advisory Boards

In 1970, when NY City Health and Hospital Corporation was created to operate the city’s municipal hospitals, a provision in the state’s enabling legislation mandated that Community Advisory Boards or CABs become an integral part of the HHC framework.

Since that time community members have been involved in the needs of the community as it relates to health care and the relationship to NY City hospitals.

This means that NY City Health and Hospital Corporation is actually the grandfather of the patient and family involvement in healthcare which has been becoming a fast growing movement in this country, and now in the world.

Some other places you may find patient and family involvement are:
The Institute of Family Centered Care, founded in 1992 mission, in part is to work “In partnership with patients, families, and health care professionals from many disciplines, the Institute for Family-Centered Care promotes the understanding and practice of patient- and family-centered care.”

In the late 1990’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute founded adult and pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Councils to serve as a "voice of the patient" for patients and family members of patients.

The National Patient Safety Foundation founded the P-FAC, Patient and Family Advisory Council in the late 90’s and the Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety started a Patient and Family Advisory Group in 2006 linked to the WHO’s World Alliance for Patient Safety.

But since 1970 CAB members have met with HHC staff to discuss system wide issues, report concerns from the community and recommend policies to the President and Board of Directors of HHC.

One role of a CAB member is to “function as a link between HHC facilities and their community”

Hospitals and patient safety organizations throughout the country are now following in the footsteps of New York City to develop what New York City saw as a workable solution to the problems of the city’s growing population - include the voice of the patient!

For the first time, this group of community leaders, activists and advocates associated with the HHC CAB's are learning about safety and quality. I am excited to be part of it. I suggest the rest of the world begin to stand up and take notice.

Maybe we need legislation before the state gives more money to hospitals and healthcare organizations still not including the patient and family involvement.

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