CFHI and CPSI: Better Together Policy Lab

Since 2015, open family presence policies had become common in Canada’s hospitals. A Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement study from early 2020 showed 73 percent of surveyed hospitals had accommodating visiting policies. However by mid-March, the situation changed dramatically in response to COVID-19, and with some specific patient exceptions, none of the hospitals in the follow-up study had accommodating policies.

Building on Better Together, a Spotlight Series webinar about family and caregiver presence during COVID-19, and work with an expert advisory group to develop key next steps for organization to welcome back essential partners in care, CFHI and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute partnered to deliver a virtual policy lab.

Through the policy lab, we are co-developing policy tools to support hospitals to improve their family presence policies and allow unrestricted access for essential partners in care. The policy lab is bringing together a diverse range of experts, including patients, families and caregivers, providers, hospital administrators, policy-makers and other senior leaders from across the country. 

A report with policy tools will be available in the fall. To make sure you receive a copy as soon as it is available, send us an email. We will also be sharing the report through both CFHI and CPSI channels and on this webpage.

I would like to receive the policy lab tools


Our Policy Lab Method

We are working with the Pivot Group and adopting a Double-Diamond style methodology to collaboratively create policy tools. This process puts the people using and applying policies in the centre of the design. It involves using creative approaches (including adapted Liberating Structures techniques) to explore the issues more widely (also called divergent thinking) and then focussing on potential solutions (convergent thinking). 

As part of the divergent phase and to gather information to inform the work in the policy lab before it started, we did an evidence scan of existing policies and conducted interviews with a range of people including those with lived experience, healthcare providers, policy makers and senior leaders.
The policy is being run over five virtual sessions and involves empathy mapping, user journey mapping, generating and iteratively improving policy solutions using a policy canvas tool, and testing the potential solutions. Our goal is to create adaptable and inclusive policy tools that can be applied in hospital settings across the country.

We will be sharing more about the process and our experience of running a virtual policy lab in the near future. If you would like to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter.

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