Department of Psychiatry Advisory Council of Consumers (DPACC)
Formed in 2006 and expanded in 2009, the Department of Psychiatry Advisory Council of Consumers, known as “D-Pack,” is a council that meets monthly, from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., and serves as the “voice” of patients and families to provide feedback to Department of Psychiatry Leadership. DPACC members assure we include their point of view in improving the patient experience and the care we provide.
- 1 of 7 Patient/Family Advisory Councils at URMC
- About partnership and collaboration
- Not a support group but a work group
- An advisory council and not an advocacy group (although members advocate for positive changes)
- A welcoming, respectful and safe forum for sharing concerns, suggestions and ideas
- A “counted on” part of our department by our Quality Council, our Incident Review Committee, by clinical leadership, our researchers, and by our trainee instructors
- An evolving mechanism for assuring quality care
- Includes active “subcommittees,” for example, our Child & Adolescent Advisory Council and Strong Recovery Advisory Council, along with project specific subcommittees as we need them
- A nationally known council (read more in the UHC Case Study)
“I truly appreciate the perspective that members of DPACC shared with us. The feedback was thoughtful and constructive, but I also appreciate how direct people were. Everything was very clear – what the issues and problems are; and precisely what needs to happen to improve the experience for patients, families and visitors.” ~From a URMC leader
Where Does DPACC Meet?
- At Strong’s Mental Health & Wellness hospital site
- Meetings are held in our largest and best conference room in the Department of Psychiatry
Who Can Become a Member?
DPACC members must be a patient, a family member, or significant other of a patient of Strong Memorial Hospital’s Mental Health & Wellness services who is recommended to the council by their treatment team or by another DPACC member. Department leaders facilitate the meetings. We, along with many healthcare facilities, have found the following criteria useful in guiding the selection of patient and family advisors to participate in working with us to improve the care we provide. DPACC members need to have:
- The ability to share personal experiences in ways that others can learn from them
- The ability to see the bigger picture
- An interest in more than one issue
- The ability to speak candidly in a group
- The ability to listen and hear other points of view
- The ability to connect with people
Because everyone benefits, including:
- Patients and family members receiving services at Strong Mental Health & Wellness
- Council Members personally grow by the experience of having a voice at the table
- The URMC as a result of DPACC representatives participating in the Medical Center council
- The Department of Psychiatry in all that we do
How Do We Keep DPACC Going?
- Changes are made, some quick, some are works in progress
- Opinions are valued and acted upon
- We provide dinner and parking
- “We are meaningful!”
- We consistently add new members
- We have committed support of Department of Psychiatry leadership
- We have lapel buttons to remind Leadership to consider, “What would DPACC say?” when they are planning changes.
Learn about our Patient Advisory Councils.