Minnesota Hospital Association

Quality & Patient Safety

patient and family engagement

Patient and family engagement (PFE) is linked to improved quality, safety and delivery of care in Minnesota’s hospitals. Providers are partnering with patients to integrate their goals, preferences and values into health care plans.   

Partnerships with patients and families can be seen at every level of the health care system. Shift-change huddles and rounding are increasingly being done at the bedside with patients and families. Hospitals are inviting patients to share their experiences and perspectives on advisory committees. Patient and family experiences are driving new, patient-centered policies and process improvements. Hospital boards are including the patient perspective in governance decisions.    

By listening to patients and families, discovering what matters most to them and implementing those ideas, Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are delivering better outcomes and experiences for their patients.   

MHA has a number of resources and programs designed to support member hospitals in their goal of developing robust PFE strategies and incorporating patient and family engagement in all areas of quality and safety.   

Include AlwaysTM 

In 2016, MHA awarded funding to the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) to develop a stand-alone resource-filled Include AlwaysTM website for patients, families and health care providers across the continuum of care.  

Include AlwaysTM is a guiding principle that promotes partnering with patients and families in their care for better outcomes. The core of this principle is, “Include always. That's what we aim to do: Include patients and families at every level throughout the health care system. Through conversations, sharing ideas and inviting the patient in, the outcome will be better health care for everyone. We're not launching a campaign that begins and ends. Together, we're creating a cultural shift, a unified mindset where the patient is truly one of us. It's a whole new health care approach. It takes a whole lot of change. It takes courage. It takes all of us working together to make our system the best it can be. We will learn more, engage often and include always.” 

MHA member hospitals are encouraged to use the Include Always logo in their PFE programs.  

Patient and Family Advisory Councils

A Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a group of patients serving as advisors to hospitals at the organizational level. They are sometimes called Patient and Family Engagement Councils (PFEC) or Patient Partner Advisory Councils (PPAC). MHA has a goal that each of its member hospitals and health systems will partner with patients in an advisory group or invite patients to join existing committees.  

MHA has many resources available to help hospitals and health systems start a PFAC, work more effectively with an existing PFAC or add patients to hospital committees. These partnerships improve the health care experience for patients, families, staff and hospitals.    

PFE staff and patient partners are welcome to join monthly PFE webinars. The webinars provide an online community designed for shared learning and discussions around topics that are relevant to members and patients. Webinar topics include patient safety, antibiotic stewardship, care transitions, resiliency, health literacy, advance care planning and more.

PFE Resources image

Other resources

Partnership for Patients PFE metrics

Safety tips for patients

To help hospitals engage patients as partners in their care, MHA provides the following resources to share with patients if they are admitted to a hospital. 

General patient and family engagement resources