Partnering with patients to improve care | HIROC News

Several recent news items point to an interest in Canadian healthcare providers partnering with patients to heighten patient safety and healthcare.

Rather than providers positioning as the experts dictating interventions, some are looking to patients for their perspective on their own care and the larger system.

At the Saskatoon Health Region, senior managers are conducting weekly walkarounds where they engage front-line staff, patients and their families in dialogue about patient-safety issues.

The goal is to heighten the culture of safety through a conversation identifying issues and solutions, and it’s working, says vice-president of clinical and operation support services Sandra Blevins.

“We have quite lively discussions around care aspects, and educate patients about their role in patient safety.

“The culture shift is starting to happen,” she adds.

On June 20, Barbara Balik, a senior faculty member at the Institute for Health Information and CEO of Common Fire Healthcare Consulting, delivers a keynote in Toronto on the importance of partnering with patients and families.

In an earlier interview with Axiom News, Balik highlighted the value of those partnerships in light of the Excellent Care for All Act, noting they can contribute to a better designed system for effective cross-continuum care.

“If we partner with patients and families on very (aspect of the act), it will help us get better,” says Balik.

And Zal Press, who has had Crohn’s disease for 30 years, has launched an entertainment production company, with the goal of showcasing — through live theatre, public speaking and humour therapy — what it’s like to be a patient.

His debut production, Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, took place May 12 in Toronto at the Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcast Centre.

Press says his hope is that healthcare providers in particular are inspired by the entertainment to begin to see the patient perspective in a new way and lead practice change towards a “culture of safety.”

– Michelle Strutzenberger, Axiom News