On Call Innovation Conversation

Using Patient Stories for Learning and Improvement

On Demand



Did you know?

  • Having patients and families share their stories can help healthcare professionals and leaders better understand care through the eyes of their patients.
  • While many organizations encourage storytelling from the perspective of patients and their families, little is known about how to best to share these stories to support learning and improvement.
  • Theory and practice, applied together, can help solve this problem.

Consider this …

Recent research has explored organizations that are known leaders in engaging with patients and using their stories for learning and improvement.

This session will present the findings from that research, with a focus on the opportunities and tensions that can emerge in using these types of stories of care.

In light of these findings, learn how one large academic health sciences centre has implemented a program using patient stories to maximize the improvement opportunities, manage tensions while ensuring structures are in place to enable learning and improvement.

Be part of the conversation!

This interactive On Call session will be presented by Carol Fancott, Lisa Hawthornthwaite, and Lauren Lee and hosted by CFHI’s Christine Maika.

Join us to:

  • Reflect on how your organization aims to use patient stories particularly as they link to patient and family centred care and quality improvement.
  • Consider why patient stories are being used, who is telling them, for what purposes, and in whose interests.
  • Consider the structures that are required to enable learning from stories to support changes in practice and processes of care.



Carol Fancott PhotoCarol Fancott is a healthcare professional with over 20 years of experience in healthcare, initially as a physiotherapist, and more recently as a healthcare leader.  Carol was also part of a team of researchers and healthcare leaders that submitted a report regarding patient engagement as one of the top five innovations that can transform healthcare to the Health Innovation Panel sponsored by Health Canada. Currently, she works as a Clinical Research Leader within Academic Affairs, Research and Innovation, Collaborative Academic Practice at the University Health Network in Toronto, where her research focuses on understanding and testing methods of patient engagement for safety and quality of care.  

Lisa Hawthornthwaite PhotoLisa Hawthornthwaite has a career in healthcare spanning 25 years.  In her current role as a Senior Patient Experience Specialist at the London Health Sciences Centre, Lisa helps strategize and generate improvements for patient and family-centred care.  She is working to champion a comprehensive plan called the Patient Experience Strategic Roadmap, designed to make a lasting difference in how the LHSC systematically delivers care and engages with its patients and families. As a Fellow with the Associated Medical Services (AMS) Phoenix Project, Lisa has been developing a curriculum focused on using patients as storytellers to engage frontline staff in self-reflection about effective patient and family-centred care.

Lauren Lee PhotoLauren Lee obtained her Master’s degree in Journalism from University of Western Ontario and has been recognized with awards related to her career as a magazine feature writer. Lauren held a contract position with the Patient Experience Office and combined her professional experience with her personal experience as a cancer survivor, to help expand and support a patient storytelling program at London Health Sciences Centre.  Lauren has written about her experience for Chatelaine and spoken to a variety of audiences through the LHSC’s patient experience curriculum. She has gained a deep appreciation for good health and relishes the opportunity to advocate for patient- and family-centered care. 


Christine Maika PhotoChristine Maika, Improvement Lead, CFHI