Patients are at the heart of everything we do at Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. They are active participants in the care they receive at our facilities - but our partnership with patients extends beyond their individual treatment plans. The Voice of the Patient Advisory Council (VPAC) is an opportunity for patients, families, and caregivers to partner together to improve the services offered at Cleveland Clinic.
The Voice of the Patient Advisory Council (VPAC) was established at Cleveland Clinic in 2009 to help ensure that patient voices are heard, and that patients' safety and well-being remain our first priorities as caregivers. Patients in VPAC share first-hand experiences and unique insights into our care processes that are invaluable. These insights were recently put to use in designing patient care and services at Cleveland Clinic's new multidisciplinary Cancer Center. Together with key hospital leaders, this team of compassionate individuals helps to improve our patient services and programs, and ensure the high quality of care that people have come to associate with Cleveland Clinic.
Cleveland Clinic has implemented VPACs across many institutes and areas that meet regularly to discuss and impact a variety of issues affecting patients and family members. VPACs include employees and patients and are a great resource to hear directly from the people we serve.
This advisory resource empowers patients and families to take an active role in improving the patient experience at Cleveland Clinic and provides real-time feedback and creative solutions to specific challenges.
Our VPACs have reviewed several hospital policies, including patient visitation and discharge information, helped define the expected service behaviors of all employees, renovated family areas, and developed educational materials for different nursing units.
How You Can Help
Throughout the monthly meetings, VPAC members bring patient needs and concerns to Cleveland Clinic caregivers, giving constructive feedback so that future patients might have even better experiences throughout their cancer treatment.
VPAC members are nominated by a multidisciplinary advisory council that has recognized an individual as an asset to the mission and projects of Taussig Cancer Institute's VPAC. For more information, contact the Best Practices Department in the Office of Patient Experience at 216.444.7500 or 800.223.2273 ext. 47500.
Voice of the Patient and Family Advisory Councils (VPAC)
The Voice of the Patient Advisory Council (VPAC) will empower patients and families to take an active role in improving the patient experience at the Taussig Cancer Institute. VPAC promotes patient and family-centered care and serves as an advisory resource for employees, staff and administration.
The role of the VPAC is to focus on a wide variety of issues and challenges affecting patients, family members, and the community, in order to improve the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care. The VPAC will assist in identifying best practices as well as recommend new policies, programs, strategies or services to address the needs of patients and family members.
The VPAC will consist of approximately ten to twelve members representing the diversity of our Taussig Cancer Institute patient community. Up to three Taussig employees may also serve.
4. Term of Office
The initial members of the VPAC will serve for staggered terms. Based on participation and attendance, employees will decide on an individual basis which members will be asked to join an additional term and which will be dismissed after a single term. Terms may also be lengthened and shortened based on project needs and accomplishments per term.
5. Nomination and Appointment of Initial VPAC Members
Recommended patients and family members will be invited to submit a written application to be reviewed by the Voice of the Patient Advisory Council Selection Committee. Chosen applicants will be interviewed and chosen by members of the selection committee.
Core functions of the VPAC include:
- Provide consumer-based perspectives on the overall experience at Taussig Cancer Institute.
- Identify best practices and opportunities to replicate successful program and policies.
- Assist in the identification and prioritization of opportunities to improve patient and family satisfaction.
- Provide input regarding new and existing policies and programs.
- The VPAC may serve as community liaisons, engaging other patients and families in various programs as necessary, or serve on other committees, as appropriate, across the system.
Primary inputs will come from the following standing meetings as well as individual offline discussions as appropriate.
- Weekly Friday Administrator Meeting
- Bi-monthly Meeting with Quality Institute Officer
- Monthly Patient Services Business Reviews
- New Building Committee in 2014
The VPAC will hold one and a half to two hour monthly meetings and by conference call as needed. Members will make every effort to attend. Emails will be the primary method for communicating agendas, reminders and follow up meeting minutes/reports.
Meeting Summaries will be provided within one week of each council meeting:
- Summary emailed to Physician Champions, Institute Administrator and Patient Services Administrator
- A Cancer Update article highlighting a VPAC accomplishment will appear twice a year.
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center is always in the process of forming its next Voice of the Patient Advisory Council. Council members participate by providing feedback on a variety of issues and challenges affecting patients and families with the goal of improving the care experience for all patients.
Criteria for becoming a VPAC member include:
- Sharing insights about patient care constructively
- Interacting well with others
- Patients treated on Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
- Finished with active treatment
- Non-Cleveland Clinic employees
Council Member Commitment:
- Completing a screening application
- Attending volunteer service orientation (including background check, TB test)
- Committing to 2 hour monthly meetings at Taussig Cancer Institute for one year
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center's VPAC has had an influence in many decisions made throughout the Institute and future plans for cancer care at Cleveland Clinic.
Recent VPAC Accomplishments (2014-2015)
- Completed food service information request to provide input on cafeteria options and location.
- Groups discussions related to referral experiences, the ease of scheduling, way finding flow, checking in, patient wait time and scheduling follow up appointments.
- Provided feedback on their experiences from the time of diagnosis to start of treatment in terms of communication, support and access to resources.
- Identifying potential opportunities for Cancer Center Community Outreach programs
- Tested and gave feedback on new chemotherapy infusion chairs for the cancer center.
- Reviewed the My Journey Binder to help new patients with treatment education and information about the cancer center.