Hamilton Health Sciences
Family Advisory Council
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Our Accomplishments

MCH staff orientation

The family voice is part of the McMaster Children's Hospital Staff Orientation. New staff discover first-hand, from the FAC  members, about their own experiences with their children in the hospital setting. The new staff learn the successes and challenges that parents and families face while accessing services and going through the hospital system.

Underground parking at MCH

Accessible parking, for patients and families, is an important issue that the FAC set out to improve. The goal was to ensure patients can access hospital services simply and quickly. Success was reached as the underground parking is more parent and family friendly with a number of patient only parking spaces, spaces designed for pregnant mothers and parents with stroller/small children. Additional wheelchair spots were also created.

Quality Counts Postcards

The Quality Improvement Postcard was developed by MCH’s Acute Pediatric Quality Counts Committee. The Family Advisory Council reviewed and provided input into the postcard, which has been introduced at MCH. The purpose of the postcard is to seek input from patients and families at MCH regarding their opinion and experience with family-centred care. This is an opportunity for patients and families to respond in the here and now, and teams can respond to feedback in a timely manner.

Pediatric Resident Advocacy Project

Provide guidance, collaboration and feedback to a medical resident for the Pediatric Resident Advocacy Project 2013. FAC provided feedback to the Pediatric Resident regarding the project to set up a series of educational and fun talks for parents/children while they are admitted to hospital. FAC will continue to be involved and collaborate as the project moves forward.

Informational material for patients and families

The FAC provides feedback and recommendations to improve content and readability from the family perspective on MCH informational material for patients and families. The materials include:

Creating Comforting Space for Child and Family

For years, members of FAC have been working towards creating space designed for comfort and togetherness for children and their families. There are very difficult times when a patient has a serious or life-threatening disease and family members spend a lot of time at the hospital to be close to their loved one. With the opening of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit in 2012, there is now specifically designed space that provides a quiet and tranquil multi-purpose area that enables critically ill children to be surrounded by their family.

FAC has been supporting and working towards this space, participating in the design and details of this very special patient room and adjoining family lobby. The patient room includes home-away-from-home amenities and comforts, as well as state-of-the-art equipment for providing best possible patient care. The adjoining lobby is a calming and comfortable space for family to rest and join together privately.

McMaster Children's Health Centre

The FAC members are actively involved in the planning process of the future McMaster Children’s Health Centre (MCHC)that will be located in Hamilton's core close to the Hamilton General Hospital. This building will provide a new home to the following ambulatory programs currently housed at the Chedoke campus:  

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders 
  • Child & Youth Mental Health  
  • Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation  
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics

FAC members are participating on the MCHC Operations Committee and on a number of working groups including the Stakeholder Engagement Project and Value Added Features and Opportunities to maximize the benefit of the new building for children, youth and their families.

Dietary Improvements

FAC members collaborated with HHS Volunteer Association Food Services to make some helpful changes. The cafeteria and snack bar are now more accessible for people living with allergies and special dietary restrictions, allowing everyone to make informed decisions about food and nutrition choices.

Prosthetic and Orthotic Clinic

A child-friendly environment was created at the Prosthetic and Orthotic Clinic at Chedoke, after FAC identified this need for change to a waiting area servicing both adult and child populations.

Parent and child panel for Medical Students

A pilot parent and child panel took place with parent, child and youth representatives including FAC members. This provided an opportunity for medical learners to listen to first-hand accounts of hospital experiences through the eyes of the child and family, to view the patient holistically as person before patient, and to view patient and family as partners in health care. Through this model, families and children offer stories and perspective which act as a resource to enhance care providers of the future. This input helps to develop self reflective health care practitioners with the goal of enhancing compassionate and respectful health care.

Linking with Community

MCH linked with Hamilton Best Start Network Parenting Campaign. The campaign is aimed to educate parents and families. FAC reviewed the campaign posters and agreed that the hospital setting, as part of the greater community, is an appropriate venue to display the poster series.

McMaster Children's Executive Committee

FAC now has a representation on the MCH Executive Committee. MCH Executive is a senior leadership committee that includes directors, medical chiefs of service and HHS foundation. This new partnership provides a wonderful opportunity for communication with the family point of view represented at the table with senior leaders.

Some of the images have been generously provided by McMaster Children's Hospital FAC members.  

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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