Carolinas HealthCare System
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Patients and Families Partner with Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health to Improve Care

The Patient and Family Advisory Council plays a crucial role in creating an overall positive experience for both patients and families who spend time at the Mindy Ellen Levine Behavioral Health Hospital.

The council is comprised of former patients and family members who have first-hand experience with behavioral healthcare at Carolinas HealthCare System. They meet regularly at both Behavioral Health-Charlotte and Mindy Ellen Levine Behavioral Health to discuss ways improve the level of care and patient satisfaction.

Over the past year, the council has made changes that are enhancing the outcomes for the patients and enhancing the experience for patients’ family. The System has a family education session before each visitation session to teach families what they can expect from a behavioral health hospital experience versus a regular hospital visit. This one of many improvements that solve the types of problems experienced in many behavioral health systems. The team created a manual to accompany the session as a tool to help them remember the details.

“We changed the selection of television stations that we offer in the hospital to make sure we have sufficient entertainment options, but not those that would traumatize someone and make them re-live a bad experience,” said Tom Gettelman, PhD, facility executive of Mindy Ellen Levine Behavioral Health Hospital, who sits on the council. “We found that this change to our programming has been successful in eliminating the possibility that something on television could be harmful to the patient and their recovery.”

Another goal on the horizon for the council is to create a list of library books that would be enjoyable and beneficial to the patients to read during their stay.