Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is currently recruiting patients and families for our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Patient and Family Advisory Council.


What is the mission of the council?

The mission of the BIDMC ICU Patient and Family Advisory Council is to collaborate with organization leaders in order to ensure that patients in BIDMC's intensive care units are consistently cared for as though they were our own loved ones.

It will do this by ensuring that patients and families representing all communities served by BID are included in all aspects of critical care, generating actionable advice that leads to change in the organization.

Who is eligible to join the council?

We are looking for BIDMC patients and families who have had an experience in one of our ICUs to lend their voices to these ongoing efforts.

When was the council created?

BIDMC started the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Patient and Family Advisory Council in July 2008.

What are the areas of focus?

The council discusses issues that are important to patients and families during their ICU stay.

What kind of outcomes have you had?

Since then, we have implemented a number of initiatives to improve the quality of care in our ICUs including:

  • Eliminated formal visiting hours.
  • Provide pagers to families that allow them to go to the coffee shop, cafeteria, and nearby shops with the confidence that we can page them if they are needed.
  • Renovated one family waiting room which now includes a sleep room for families and computers with an ICU-specific landing page.
  • Provided input to a program in which critical care residents now rotate through our Simulation Center, receiving didactic and high-fidelity simulation sessions on conducting family meetings.
  • When patients transition from the Cardiovascular ICU (CVICU) to the floor, RNs from both areas perform a hand-off with the patient in the room with a focus on pain management requirements.
  • Developed a pilot to actively invite and include families on multidisciplinary work rounds.
  • Developed an introductory brochure that covers information on staff roles in the ICU as well as the day-to-day logistics of visiting
  • Utilized advisors as teachers at Critical Care Grand Rounds where two advisors shared their experiences and educated staff about key elements that impact the patient experience.

What is the commitment?

The council meets four times a year on a quarterly basis. We ask members to commit to a term of two years.

Do you provide food and parking?

We provide parking vouchers and food during mealtimes for meetings at BIDMC.

How do I apply?

Please complete an application and select the Intensive Care Unit Advisory Council when answering the last question.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information and questions, please contact Kate Zieja, Project Manager, Critical Care Quality at 617-632-0352 or kzieja@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Patient and Family Engagement Program seeks to Improve our Diversity and Inclusion:

In order to ensure that our advisory councils are representative of the diverse patient population at BIDMC, we are seeking applicants representing African American, Asian American, Latino, Muslim, LGBTQ, veteran, and other minority communities.

Last Updated: October 8, 2015