dell children's medical center of texas
Seton Healthcare Family
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Dell Children's Youth Advisory Council
Finding Their Voice

Austin, Texas- February 2010- The Child Life and Family Centered Care Department gives young patients a voice. The newly formed Youth Advisory Council is comprised of patients with one common goal-to improve the patient and family experience at Dell Children's. The creation of Youth Advisory Council is an important step in promoting the collaboration between hospital and family-a philosophy called "family centered care"-into every aspect of patient care.

"Youth Advisory Council is the heart of the whole Family Centered Care Initiative at Dell Children's," says Chris Brown, director of Child Life and Family Centered Care at Dell Children's. "It's all about hearing our patient's voices and helping us change our delivery of care model to one that is fully empowering and partnered, where decision-making is shared and collaborative."

Health care has changed from fifty years ago, says Brown, when patient areas were designed and policies were established based primarily on the perspective of the hospital and healthcare team. Today healthcare organizations have made a huge shift to family centered care and the collaboration among hospital leaders, all members of the healthcare team, and the patient and family. "Our decision-making is driven by what patients and families tell us, not just what we think they want," she says.

Family centered care is all about bringing patient and family perspectives directly into the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare, thereby improving quality and safety. Studies show when health care providers, patients and families work together, quality and safety of health care increase, costs decrease and provider and patient satisfaction increase.