The Virtual Patient and Family Advisory Council in the COVID-19 Era.

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In 2016, we launched our first Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) as a means of collaborating with our patients and families to improve care. Using an Internet-based remote meeting technology, we transitioned to a virtual platform in April.We have conducted 12 PFAC meetings across 4 sites to date. Virtual PFAC meeting topics over the past few months include communication about the coronavirus, community resources needed by patients during the pandemic, telehealth visit troubleshooting, current office policy, and changing work flow. A convenience sample of advisors generated qualitative responses on the transition from in-person meetings to a virtual platform.Attendance increased as we transitioned to a virtual platform from 13.2 advisors to 14.7 advisors. Advisors affirm the value of a PFAC and importance of patient engagement, especially during this pandemic. Patient advisors confirm the role of patient voice in pandemic-induced practice changes.The transition of our PFACs to a virtual platform continues to generate critically important partnerships between patients and providers. In this time of health care uncertainty and stress for patients, providers, and staff, this partnership remains our most valuable asset.Patient voice provides reliable and relevant information for practices through virtual PFAC meetings.

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Authors: Jeffrey D Schlaudecker, Keesha Goodnow