The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and HealthCareCAN recently recognized Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Patient Family Advisory Council with honourable mention for the 2015 Patient Safety Champion Organization Award.
TBRHSC formally adopted a Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) philosophy in 2009 as a way to transform culture and care. The Patient Family Advisory Council represents the voice of patients and their families at all levels and areas of the organization and is comprised of 90 volunteers, ranging in age from nine to 92, who have had recent care experiences within the health sciences centre over the past two years. The Council has helped to shape healthcare throughout the organization, resulting in improved patient, staff and physician satisfaction, better health outcomes, effective connections with the communities served, cost savings, improved quality and safety, and enhanced learning.
“Adopting and committing to PFCC puts patients and families first and keeps them at the centre of everything we do,” says Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, EVP Patient Services & Chief Nursing Executive. “Decision-making at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is done in collaboration with Patient Family Advisors (PFA) as equal partners. We are fortunate to have the commitment and dedication of our PFAs. Working together, we are able to transform our health system to continually better the patient experience.”
PFA’s are active members of Senior Management Council, Board Quality, and all care/system teams. Decisions on hiring leaders, corporate spending, strategic planning, facility design, policy and practice are all done in partnership with PFAs. The Patient Family Advisors have significantly contributed to changes in clinical practice and participate in hospital orientation, support medical learners, educate professionals across the province and inform partners and leaders across the nation.
TBRHSC has provided support and resources to others starting their PFCC journey, sharing knowledge and experiences locally, regionally, nationally and within North America. Teachings have been provided to board of directors, healthcare leaders and organizations on how PFCC and quality are linked and how systems and processes were created to sustain PFCC practices. The organization’s PFA program is easily replicated and the program has been generously shared with many Ontario hospitals and with health system partners.
“Patient and Family Centred Care is not something that just happens,” says Dr. Crocker Ellacott. “It is about making an intentional effort to begin a journey with a richer appreciation of what it means to work in collaborative partnership with patients and families. It changes the way you do business to shape a better organization. It transforms the culture and the care. Staying focused on what matters by ensuring patients and families are at the centre of everything you do, will bring early success to your organization!”
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was nominated for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute award by Keith Taylor, Patient Family Advisor and Bonnie Nicholas, Patient and Family-Centred Care Lead & Patient Advocate.