Our New Strategic Plan Is Now Available! Here’s the Story of Its Development

We launched our Strategic Plan last week and we’re excited about having a guiding document for our work over the next three years! Developing it was a six-month process – in this post, we share how the plan was co-created with our partners to define our  vision, values and priorities.

After support of PVN was transferred to the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (BCPSQC) last year, we focused on growing our membership, welcoming patient and health care partners, creating patient engagement resources, and supporting ongoing engagement opportunities. With a new foundation in place, we knew it was important to develop a three-year plan for the Network, in collaboration with our patient and health care partners, to ensure PVN continues to advance patient and public engagement in BC.

PVN’s Strategic Plan establishes a common vision for the Network, and enables us to focus on our main priorities. It will be the foundation of our work for the next three years,” explained Leah Smith, one of our Engagement Leaders involved in developing the plan.

Leah added that, by reaching out and having conversations with so many people, developing the plan also became a consensus-building activity about where best to focus our resources:

I feel like we were really lucky to come to a place of agreement, which is largely due to leadership and feedback provided by the Oversight & Advisory Committee.

Consultation with our partners

Throughout 2016, we gathered feedback from our stakeholders on ways to improve the Network and meet our partners’ needs. Our Patient & Public Engagement team held conversations with patient and health care partners through Quality Forum 2017, networking coffees, outreach events and orientations.

In addition to local feedback, we developed a survey to canvass all of our patient and health care partners. We wanted to provide a platform for them, as well as other patient engagement practitioners in Canada, to tell us the aspects of PVN they find most valuable and help guide our future direction.

Here is what survey respondents and our partners found are the most valuable areas of our work:

  • Building an engaged network;
  • Developing the skills and capacity of patient and health care partners; and
  • Supporting meaningful engagement.

Eight themes emerged as to potential areas of focus for the next three years:

  1. Enhance the role of health care partners in the patient engagement process;
  2. Broaden the demographics and diversity of patient partners;
  3. Educate health care partners, including the government, on the value of including patient partners in research, planning, policy setting, and decision making;
  4. Increase the diversity and number of opportunities for partners to meaningfully engage;
  5. Create more connections between patient partners;
  6. Enhance evaluation and transparency;
  7. Enhance the patient voice through patient-led initiatives; and
  8. Provide more practical skills training for patient partners.

Oversight & Advisory Committee planning

After gathering this input, on February 2 our Oversight & Advisory Committee met to review the survey findings and develop a shared understanding of what would become key elements of the Strategic Plan, including PVN’s vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities. (Want to learn more? Read the meeting’s minutes .)

Next we developed a draft Strategic Plan, which we shared back with committee members, as well as our Patient & Public Engagement team. After incorporating their revisions and receiving the committee’s endorsement, the plan was presented to  the BCPSQC Council members, who supported its adoption and implementation.

Kimberly Strain, one of the patient partner representatives in the Oversight & Advisory Committee, described the process as an exciting challenge:

It takes time and thought to get things right. In order to develop a succinct and clear plan, it was crucial to go through the necessary steps of consultation, discussion and development of ideas. The time was well invested, as we now have a solid foundation and a better idea of what we are working towards as the Network evolves, and I believe the Strategic Plan will act as a GPS for moving forward as we navigate the waters of patient engagement.

Ta-da! The Strategic Plan is now available

This process of receiving input, co-creating with the committee and finalizing took approximately six months, and we couldn’t be happier with the result! We’ve proudly displayed our new foundational vision, mission,  and values on the website for everyone to view, and the Strategic Plan is available for download. We also printed copies which will be distributed at events.

We’re grateful for the feedback and excited to focus on advancing the plan. As Leah so wonderfully writes:

It’s exciting to have a plan, and that our values are included in it! You’ll notice that the values align with the BCPSQC’s values and reflect the principles of patient- and family-centred care. On a personal note, I learned a lot and feel proud in saying that the plan was truly co-created by our patient and health care partners, and I’m committed to ‘living the values’ set out in the plan!

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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