Kaiser Permanente’s Patient Advisory Councils help us create exceptional experiences by letting patients review upcoming care initiatives.
In 2002, Jerilyn Crain’s life turned upside down when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
“From the beginning, I looked for patient support groups. But there was nothing out there. So, I started one,” said Crain.
She held her support group on a bus that took cancer patients from Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Offices to Los Angeles Medical Center for radiation treatment. The patients had parties on the bus and celebrated each person’s “graduation” from cancer treatment. After Crain’s own graduation, she continued hosting the support group at her home. Her care team even sent cancer patients to her.
Then, in 2007, care teams at Bellflower and Downey medical centers joined forces with patients to create Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s first Patient Advisory Council. Crain’s doctor recommended her for a position as a patient advisor.
Coming from a family of health care professionals, it was a perfect fit for Crain, who happily reviews upcoming initiatives and provides recommendations on behalf of her loved ones who are Kaiser Permanente members.
“My whole life has been about acknowledging, supporting, informing, encouraging, praying for, and listening to the voice of the patient,” said Crain.
The Patient Advisory Councils have been a resounding success. Kaiser Permanente Southern California now has 23 Patient Advisory Councils, including 9 specialty councils focused on specific topics such as behavioral health and neonatal care. Recent accomplishments include:
These changes and more are helping us create exceptional experiences every day for our members.
“Our members all come from different backgrounds, with needs as diverse as they are. But you don’t know what those needs are unless you ask them. That’s why it’s so important that we hear directly from a diverse set of patients,” said Dr. Williams.
Linda Fahey, administrative lead for the Regional Patient Advisory Council, says the councils help Kaiser Permanente create exceptional experiences for members.
“It’s the little things that affect our members’ opinion of us. By listening to our patient advisors, we’ve been able to make changes that take our members’ experience from good to great,” said Fahey.