Regional Cancer Care Northwest patients, who access the Cancer Centre at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, have a new way to share their experiences in real time. Now, when patients arrive for their appointments, they will be asked to complete a new patient experience survey called ‘Your Voice Matters’.
In partnership with Cancer Care Ontario, this survey is being implemented across the province in all regional cancer programs. The survey aims to empower patients to be engaged in their care by sharing feedback at every stage of their visit. For health care providers, this is important because the experiences of adult cancer patients will be captured and measured in real time.
“We continuously strive to deliver high-quality care to every patient who visits our centre,” says David McConnell, Manager of Radiation Therapy and Surgical Oncology. “Collecting feedback from patients engages them in their care and helps us make meaningful changes to improve the experience patients have with our centre.”
The confidential data collected with Your Voice Matters will be used to identify meaningful, patient driven improvements to processes, systems and services associated with the patient experience. Using real time reporting could also make these changes more relevant, which will result in improved quality of care and, ultimately, an improved patient experience.
Your Voice Matters is an electronic survey, and takes less than five minutes to complete. Computers and tablets are available in the waiting rooms at the Cancer Centre in Thunder Bay, and volunteers and Patient and Family Advisors are available to assist patients and their families to complete the survey.
“The survey questions are organized around a patient’s typical visit and sequence of events, including: experiences with booking an appointment, checking-in, waiting for the health care provider, quality of the service and overall experience,” explains McConnell. “Patients will be prompted to complete the survey upon completing the symptom assessment that they already complete when they arrive at the centre.”
Your Voice Matters was created by Cancer Care Ontario to identify measures to improve the delivery of responsive and respectful care by optimizing individuals’ quality of life. “This is the goal of health care in Ontario – putting patients at the centre of their care,” says Dr. Simron Singh, Provincial Head, Person-Centred Care at Cancer Care Ontario. “Collecting and measuring patient experience data helps improve the lives of Ontarians by enabling patients, health care providers and administrators to shape the cancer system based on what’s important to patients.”
Regional Cancer Care Northwest is one of the 13 Regional Cancer Programs in Ontario to implement Your Voice Matters. The initiative was piloted at five regional cancer centres in 2015 to assess the needs of patients prior to implementing it at every centre in Ontario.