“What Matters to You?” Day: See What Matters to Our Oversight & Advisory Committee Members

As you’ve probably seen in our newsletters and social media feeds, we’ve been deeply involved with “What Matters to You?” Day  the last few months. Since the campaign aligns with PVN’s work and a number of our Oversight & Advisory Committee members have been involved in the planning, we wanted to know what matters to them when it comes to health care. Here’s what they said.

As a campaign that encourages meaningful conversations between patients, caregivers, families, and health care providers, “What Matters to You?” Day aligns perfectly with PVN’s work to advance patient – and family- centred care in our province, specifically by putting the patient voice at the centre of care. The PVN Oversight & Advisory Committee has endorsed the campaign so we asked our  committee members to share what matters to them. They had some interesting answers and points of view about what’s important, check them out:

What Matters to Our Oversight & Advisory Committee Members

“A warm greeting, someone who engages me in decisions about my health, is knowledgeable about the challenges faced by caregivers, has taken the time to educate themselves about the effective care of older adults, takes time to build a positive relationship and someone who can demonstrate empathy and kindness.”

“Kindness during every health care encounter, regardless of who is involved and how brief or lasting the interaction is.”

“What matters to me is the patient having not just a voice, but an effective voice. Leslee Thompson, interviewed on CBC, on how she turned around a failing hospital into an award winning one, credited the inclusion of patients, but not just any patients. What was needed was patients who pushed back. Pushing back is not without risk. Hierarchical organizations and bureaucracies do not like those who ask, even politely, probing questions. Challenging assumptions at focus groups that are structured to achieve a certain outcome is unpopular. We risk being taken off committees or sidelined. But we must pushback and include this concept in the orientation.”

“Caring and timely response to my end of life concerns.”

“When my mother’s care staff show compassion, understanding and love towards my mother, whose care can be challenging at times.”

“I am involved in decisions affecting my care. My level of involvement in these decisions may not always be the same; sometimes, I’ll want to be more of an equal partner and at other times, I will need you to be able to navigate and take more of the lead. I am heard. Listening is not enough. It’s being heard that matters. I am respected and treated as a human being, not as an inconvenience. I am on the same team as my health care providers. When I do research about my illnesses, discussion is encouraged, not stifled. My knowledge living inside of my body 24/7 is valued. While I may not have my MD, I certainly have lived experience and knowledge of my own illnesses. Be honest with me. If you don’t know the answer, tell me. And then walk with me to help guide me to where I need to go. Please don’t give up on me. Fight for me.”

“As a patient, care provider and a family member What Matters To Me (WMTM) – Is to be heard. As a tax-payer, WMTM is to avoid duplicating efforts and implement pilot projects.”

“It is important to me that family and patients receive respectful, timely, appropriate and effective care every time they have a medical problem, issue or question.”

“As a patient partner I appreciate the opportunity to work as a member of a team to bring about positive outcomes representing necessary changes to our health care system. One of the exciting aspects of being a former health care provider is that that I can utilize my life learning and actual experiences when the team is discussing various topics. During the exchange of ideas resulting in needed changes my opinion is treated not only with respect but I feel it is added value because I am listened to by members of the team. I and other patient partners represent the ‘face of the patient and family’ in a non-aggressive manner, but firmly assuring that ‘our’ voice is heard. In every meeting I have attended I have always learned something new, different viewpoints, experiences, expectations & awareness of the challenges facing health care professionals and other staff as well as patients and families who have a history and continue to be involved in our health care system.”

What Matters to You?

You’re invited to join us on June 6 and let us know what matters to you as a patient! Learn more about the campaign, sign up to show your commitment to patient-centred care, and share what matters to you with your health care provider.

And please, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section too, we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Written by Thais Freitas

Thais is a communications specialist at the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. She is thrilled with the community engagement and solidarity that PVN enables, and loves seeing the amazing results of the partnership between patient and health care partners. In her free time she can be found cycling and snowboarding around BC, walking her dog, traveling, cooking or working on one of her many writing projects.

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