The biggest part of being a community hospital is being a part of the community. Kootenai Health sets itself apart from others because of this important component of its identity.
Every patient experience matters. This is why Kootenai Health proudly offers the Patient Family Advisory Council, a special panel of previous patients and patients’ loved ones who have seen multiple sides of patient care.
“We originally started the Patient Family Advisory Council back in the summer of 2015,” hospitality director and founding council member Charlie Linder said. “We were doing a lot of work around improving the experience for our patients and their loved ones. Establishing a council of volunteers from the community to help lead and support those efforts was important and very much needed.”
For two hours every month, Patient Family Advisory Council members meet to discuss what Kootenai Health can do to improve the patient experience. Using firsthand knowledge and testimonies, these members offer thoughtful recommendations to enhance Kootenai Health’s quality of care so it is even safer, more effective and more compassionate.
“It is always interesting to get their perspective because they truly do see things differently than those of us who work in health care every day,” Charlie said. “It is also good to receive their thoughts and opinions in a proactive way, as opposed to hearing about someone’s experience when things go wrong which, unfortunately, can happen from time to time.”
Those interested in joining the council must be community members who have been patients or whose family members have been patients.
Advisers are asked to: Support and commit to the mission and vision of Kootenai Health; attend orientation and training; prepare for meetings as needed by reviewing materials, reading reports or completing tasks; attend meetings as required; actively participate by sharing input and opinions; and maintain confidentiality.
“As a community-owned, not-for-profit health care system, creating sustainable programs to involve actual community members in improving the services we provide is just one of the many ways that we continue to grow and improve,” Charlie said.
If you are interested, download the application on the Patient Family Advisory Council page on kh.org and submit it in one of three ways: