Patient Engagement Projects funded in 2011

Through the patient engagement initiative, CFHI funded seven intervention projects (see below) in 2011. In addition to support and mentoring, CFHI’s investment provided $700,000 that was matched by $700,000 from the selected teams through cash or in-kind contributions (applicants were required to secure matching co-sponsorship support).

Impliquer les patients diabétiques dans les services de première ligne [Involving diabetic patients in the improvement of primary care services]

Jacques Ricard, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie

This intervention project engages diabetic patients through workshops to learn about the services in their territory, engage in the process of identifying needs and finding solutions to improve the services. Through these workshops, patient recommendations were formulated and will be used by the various decision-making bodies in the local and regional networks. This project is an adaptation of the CoMPAS workshops launched in 2009, geared to persons with diabetes. CoMPAS is a series of reflective workshops where front-line healthcare workers get administrative system-level information about their clients and a profile of health service use in their territory. The information helps with better planning and program implementation as well as fostering interprofessional collaboration.

Engaging patients in evaluating patient experience in addiction and mental health

Shawn Currie, Alberta Health Services

Past patient experience surveys used in Alberta Health Services, including addictions and mental health (AMH), focus mainly on medical, facility-based acute care services. To develop more appropriate AMH patient experience instruments, teams have conducted literature reviews, environmental scans and patient focus groups to in order to evaluate the respective services among adults in Calgary. Patients are involved in validating the content of the tools, in data collection, analysis, and in planning for dissemination of the findings and coming up with recommendations around care through AHS’s newly established patient engagement department.

Patients Matter: Engaging patients as collaborators to improve osteoarthritis (OA) care in Alberta

Tracy Wasylak, Alberta Health Services

Realizing the importance of the patient voice in osteoarthritis health service delivery, AHS is testing innovative training approaches to increase patient involvement in all provincial zones. Patient Experience Researchers were uniquely selected and trained to master and apply research techniques and strategies. Upon completion of the foundational training, Patient Experience Research Groups, composed of 5 members each, engaged in individual research projects to set research agendas, directions in health care, and evaluation of health care services. Currently, patient researchers are conducting their respective research projects in conjunction with a mentor, where analysis of findings will later be presented in an article to Grey Matters in Action for publication. Having patients involved in the projects and committees dramatically increases knowledge transfer and uptake, and leads to better health outcomes and services. Further, this approach contributes to the image of patients as independent, experts in their own right and contributors to healthcare reform. .

The Nova Scotia Cancer Patient Family Network: Innovation, development, evaluation

Theresa Marie Underhill, Cancer Care Nova Scotia

Following a mandate to include cancer patients and their families in the development of cancer care, the Nova Scotia Cancer Patient Family Network aims to establish a patient engagement advisory group to evaluate the network. The advisory group includes cancer patients/survivors/families, program managers and staff, health professionals and researchers. Building on the network evaluation results, the advisory group will develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based intervention for more effective recruitment and engagement of patients/survivors/families as members, and for novel strategies to promote decision-makers’ and healthcare professionals’ engagement of patients/survivors/families in cancer care system decision-making processes.

Advancing women’s equity through a strategy of meaningful engagement

Mary Elizabeth Snow, Fraser Health

To develop a patient engagement model for engaging voices not traditionally heard in health care planning, interviews were conducted with an array of women in the Fraser Health region to collect narratives about healthcare experiences, priorities and preferred methods of patient engagement. These are further supplemented by interviews with health care decision makers on their experiences in patient engagement, and a literature review focusing on patient engagement as it pertains to marginalized populations. From this work, a model for engaging marginalized women in health care planning was created and is being implemented and evaluated in two Fraser Health Clinical Programs.

Engagement of patients/families on hospital unit action councils

Dianne Gaffney, Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance

Through the collection of patient narratives to get at core care values that were then validated by an open community forum, ten project-initiated unit action councils have developed patient-centred models based on these values. The councils include patients who contributed narratives, as well as six staff members elected by their peers from each unit of the four community hospitals. As council members, patients continue to be involved in setting up new processes and structures to reflect the patient-centred models, as well as collecting data to monitor output and evaluating the impact on outcomes.

Responsiveness of care: Patient experiences to shape clinical services

Cathy Risdon, McMaster Family Practice

To better understand the care environment for patients with obesity, data was collected from a patient survey, qualitative interviews (with those self-identifying as living with obesity) on patients’ perceptions of responsiveness of care and a staff survey on attitudes towards, and beliefs about patients with obesity at the McMaster Family Practice. Results were shared with staff in education sessions on quality assurance and further used by an advisory group (made up of administrators, clinicians and 4-6 “patient experts” who have obesity and want to participate) to create a list of short- and long-term recommendations. A post-intervention patient survey on responsiveness, the creation of strategies for sustainability by the advisory group and knowledge translation activities have followed, demonstrating the importance for patient involvement in shaping the care environment for people with obesity.