Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Study of New York Hospital PFACs and PFAs: Prevalence and Functioning

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

January 3, 2017


Outside New York State







Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) provide an opportunity for patients and families to bring their perspectives to bear on hospital-related decisions (e.g., policies, staffing, communications, and facilities) and governance.

However, concerns have been raised that PFACs serve as not much more than window dressing for some hospitals. In response, state and federal agencies have begun initiatives that aim to increase the role of PFACs in reflecting the needs and concerns of patients and families. Despite the growing recognition of PFACs’ need, there is a dearth of information on how many PFACs exist in New York State and how they vary in their composition and roles. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) a grant to address this information gap in New York State.

Under this grant, IPFCC evaluated the state of PFACs in New York; quantified and qualified the variation that exists; and recommended ways to increase their prevalence and enhance their meaningful use. To guide and inform the project, IPFCC convened a project advisory committee comprising patient and family advisors and advocacy groups; representatives from hospital trade associations and other hospital leadership; government officials; and local and national PFAC experts. IPFCC also conducted key informant interviews, site visits, and an online survey of New York State hospitals to assess the prevalence and use of PFACs. A final report summarized best practices and lessons learned and include illustrative stories. The report also included a review of innovative practices from other states for developing and sustaining effective PFACs. IPFCC disseminated the report through its e-newsletter, on its website, at its seminars and conferences, and as part of its consulting and technical assistance activities.

Read the report: “Strategically Advancing Patient and Family Advisory Councils in New York State Hospitals.”