Make your experience count.
Programs & Activities
- The Patient Voice in Ontario's Health Care Boards
- Annual Conference on 'Improving the Patient Experience'
- The Patients' Choice Awards
- User Guide
- Learning from Patient Narratives
- Phase One: Development of Indicators for Patient and Family Centred Care
- Complaints Across Canada
Helping Respond to Patient Anxiety in Emergency Rooms (E.R.)
Triage nurses are very skilled at distinguishing between people who have serious health problems which must be dealt with immediately and those who can wait to see a doctor. Some are sensitive to the anxiety of all patients who come into the E.R. Others are not and patients are left to wait anxiously for long hours. Few triage nurses or front desk personnel are trained to help deal with anxious people. PAC is planning staff training programs to help respond to patient anxiety and improve everyone's experience.
Key Activities: We have met with senior staff members at hospitals who recognize that such training is needed. We will meet with government officials to seek funding and will inaugurate the program(s) soon after.
Redesigning Services with Patients
Patient services in health care organizations are usually developed with very little patient participation. This results in services that do the job from the institutional perspective. For example, they may use staff efficiently, but make for extra work by patients and their families. Often they do not consider some small details that could easily make for improved patient experience. We believe that when patients become part of the design team they can eliminate unnecessary steps in some processes, and significantly improve patients’ experience without added cost or risk.
Key Activities: We are working with Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care to redesign aspect of the admissions process with participation of patient and family members. We are submitting proposals to other hospitals recommending the implementation of Patient and Caregiver Advisors to participate in the service redesign process.
The Patient Voice in Ontario's Health Care Boards
Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Patients' Association organized this year-long project to help Ontario health care board members bring the patient perspective to board deliberations. You can read more about the project in this brochure.
The grant project came to a close in July 2012. The major outcome is the realization that patients and family members can become effectively involved in an organization's decision-making by introducing a structure that allows for patient and family advisors. Now, the Patients' Association continues to collaborate with volunteers, board members, and health care organizations on other projects to develop Patient and Family Advisory Councils.
If you would like to learn more, contact Jennifer Carroll.
Additionally, the Patients' Association has compiled a web-based resource library featuring material on patient participation on boards – this library is available to the public here.
Annual Conference on 'Improving the Patient Experience'
The Patients' Association of Canada launch conference was held on February 15, 2011 and will be held annually. Over 100 health care professionals, managers, and policy makers joined patients at this inaugural educational event that modeled new ways to conduct a public dialogue on 'Improving the Patient Experience.' Its results helped us refine our direction and elicited new ways forward.
The results of the conference were analyzed and consolidated by a group of more than 30 volunteers at a follow-up session. We now have fresh ideas about how to bring the patient voice to the clinical level, the service delivery level and the policy level of the health care system.
The Patients' Choice Awards
PAC recognizes that there are many health care organizations, professionals and support workers who are very responsive to the patient perspective on health care and who provide patient sensitive service. Because we believe that there should be more public acknowledgment of good practice, PAC has initiated the Patients’ Choice Awards in collaboration with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
This initiative is the first of its kind in Canada where patients can nominate the candidates and another group, also patients, judge the entries and decide the winners. We received many thoughtful stories explaining the type of care that patients value. The motto for the award, 'Caring, listening, hearing,' was derived from the letters of nomination.
Key Activities: So far we have awarded in Peterborough, Windsor and Sarnia. We look forward to developing the program into one that goes beyond Ontario and recognizes more health care providers. Find more details here.
We're starting a peer-to-peer User Guide. It will include instructions and tips based on the experiences of people who have come into contact with various parts of the system. A panel of specialized volunteers will review contributions on an ongoing basis to monitor accuracy and maintain standards.
Key Activities: We have seeded the User Guide with information found in Navigating the Canadian Health Care System, by Francesca Grosso and Michael Decter. Ongoing creation and collaboration will change and enrich the User Guide.
Learning from Patient Narratives
We have been gathering patient stories at every PAC meeting. We collect them and have been analyzing them to learn more about how and why people have particular health care experiences. This work is at the core of our research endeavors. Read some now!
Key Activities: We have begun to gather and analyze data gathered at various events. The results seed discussions about the future direction of patient engagement in healthcare. We hope to find a basis for measuring the impact of changes on patients' experience.
Development of Indicators for Patient and Family Centred Care
We are working to create practical, easy to understand ways to measure and report on how well healthcare organizations and systems are doing in achieving patient-centred care. By listening to thousands of patients and their families from all across the country, we are distilling the essential indicators for patient and family centred care. For example:
- There should be an easy process for patients to access their medical records and to correct any errors in these records;
- Emergency departments and front-line staff should be trained to respond to patient and family anxiety as well as to patient health status
- We should measure the success of medical procedures in terms of how the patient experiences the outcomes. We need to redefine success in terms of what patients report as the outcomes for their quality of life.
Complaints Across Canada
Graduate students in the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto have gathered complaints mechanisms from across Canada. They have updated previous work that dramatically displayed the strengths and weaknesses of a system that varies from province-to-province.
Key Activities: Look for the results published on our website later in 2012.
On our website, we post a regular blog of patient related information, including news items, events, and fresh links to other relevant sites. We also post patient stories and keep the world aware of our ongoing activities.
Our newsletter, The Patient Voice, is a communication vehicle keeping subscribers up to date about the current state of PAC. Our book publishing arm, Health and Everything Publications, recently published Sholom Glouberman's own account of his patient experience, My Operation: A Health Insider Becomes a Patient.
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