It’s Time to Put the Patient in Queen’s Park

By: Zal Press and Dawn Richards

September 28, 2014

As dedicated patient experts we welcome Ontario Premier Wynne’s Mandate Letter to Health Minister Eric Hoskins. We are encouraged that in an interview with the Globe and Mail (Kelly Grant, July 11, 2014) Minister Hoskins committed himself to “improving the patient experience” and the Mandate letter leads with a priority to “Putting Patients at the Centre”.

In our many patient roles, we’ve heard the platitudes of “patient-centred care” and “patient experience” bandied about like badminton birdies that can fall to the ground with nary a concern and then replayed with the same casual whimsy.

Will this time be different? We’d like to give Minister Hoskins the benefit of the doubt and support his intent with a vision that embraces the opportunity that a focus on patient experience provides.

We start by providing a common understanding of the “patient experience.” The Beryl Institute, a global community of practice and premier thought leaders on improving the patient experience in healthcare, defines patient experience as: “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.“ This definition tells us that patient experience is more than just satisfied patients. Satisfaction is the result [...] continue the story

Over 200 Artists tackle the Illness Experience

“Mira, Mira on the wall” was the refrain that came to mind when young Mira Berlin (MFA) presented her idea 3 years ago for an art show representing the personal illness experiences of artists. After she left my office, I thought about whether the refrain’s connection to the fairy tale was applicable to the concept.

Three years later, the fairy tale reference can be discarded. A collective of European academic, art and industry leaders has produced a vivid expression of illness through the eyes of artists working in collaboration with patients.

‘Perspectives – Art, Inflammation and Me’ is an initiative designed to add a different dimension to the current understanding of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) and their impact on patients and society.  The exhibition debuted at the 9th Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in Copenhagen, Denmark on February 20 with more than 100 unique pieces of art.

Mira was interested in the subjective experience of disease to showcase the potential of Fine Arts “to transcend the bounds placed on patients upon their diagnosis” and to highlight “the incredible power of images to demystify illness and reconcile us to disease, and even to death.” At the time, her thoughts were [...] continue the story

“Valleys”: A DP’s Perspective

Last week I was whisked away to Georgetown, Ontario. A young and talented Director from Alberta had hired me as his Director of Photography and all encompassing “camera guy”, for his newly envisioned web series.

Mike Lang, is the Director, and “Valleys” is his new project.

Diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 25, Mike rapidly launched Survive & Thrive Expeditions, an organization that seeks to  connect young adult cancer patients with peers. Whether it’s a whitewater trip down a river or a serene sailing trip along the inlets of Canada’s west coast – Survive & Thrive (STE) has provided much needed solitude and support to courageous patients.

 

 

And if this wasn’t enough, Mike had cameras rolling the entire time. During these past few years Mike has cut together footage of his expeditions and the intimate interviews captured between survivors.

With this he has already created  two uniquely inspirational and mind expanding films, “Wrong Way to Hope” and “Ebb & Flow”.  Mike’s films have been used as educational materials by health institutes to provide a common link between practitioners and patients.

Determined isn’t quite enough to describe Mike as he now tackles creating his third film project in only a few short years.

With the next STE [...] continue the story

Social Media & Patient Centric Care

Michael Evans, Director and Staff Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital talks about social media and patient-centred care. This interview was conducted by The Change Foundation during their Meeting of the Minds 2011 Conference: How to ACE the Patient Experience. The Change Foundation is an independent policy think tank, intent on changing the health-care debate, health-care practice and the health-care experience in Ontario.

Video is also available on the Change Foundation website here.

Cancer patients, survivors find truth in ’50/50′ | LA Times

In the new film “50/50,” there is a scene where cancer patient Adam, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is on a gurney being wheeled into the operating room with his parents by his side. As the nurses take the 27-year-old away, he calls out for his mom like he’s a little boy. It’s an affecting moment, but for Matthew Zachary, it was particularly personal.

“That’s exactly what happened to me,” said the 37-year-old father of twins from New York City who was diagnosed withbrain cancer at age 21. “Literally I’m with my parents and they are wheeling me off to the operating room and I lost it. It was a horrible, horrible experience.”

For Heidi Adams, it was the scene at the dinner table between Gordon-Levitt’s character and his mother, played by Anjelica Huston, who wants to move in to help care for him.

“I remember that conversation with my mother, that struggle at that time in your life when you are discovering your independence, fighting for your independence and you are thrown back into this position where you need to rely on people, where you need your mom. It’s very disorienting,” said Adams, 44, from Austin, Texas, who lived with her parents for 2 1/2 years when [...] continue the story