Here’s How You Can Help Improve Island Health’s Quality of Care!

As you may have seen on our Engagement Opportunities page, Island Health is looking for patient partners to join several Quality Councils on Vancouver Island. We invited Catherine Marrie, a consultant with Island Health’s Quality and Patient Safety Portfolio, to write a blog post explaining these unique opportunities:

“Island Health coordinates health services for approximately 800,000 people across Vancouver Island and the Discovery and Gulf islands, serving rural, urban and remote communities. The combined services provided within its diverse population include 1,600 acute care beds, 5,300 residential care beds, and 1,035 assisted living units, as well as care for thousands of community care clients and services through public and mental health programs. It’s a unique and diverse health care climate to be a part of, and PVN Patient Partners are welcome!

Quality at Island Health means dedication to improving the care, safety and experience of patients and staff every day. This can mean integrating new procedures into clinical processes, reviewing and acting upon safety measures related to patient falls or surgical site infections, or supporting the sharing of really great quality improvement ideas across sites. To help us coordinate our efforts and move forward in these areas, we have a number of councils responsible for stewarding quality and safety in the organization.

About Island Health’s Quality Councils

The quality councils meet regularly to approve new policies and procedures, review adverse patient events (which can include a patient falling or receiving the wrong medication, for example), and monitor our progress in achieving care delivery expectations set by the Ministry of Health, professional colleges and the federal government. Our quality councils have the accountability to oversee how we are meeting our quality of care expectations and to identify and act on opportunities to do better.

By clicking here, for example, you can learn more about how the Endoscopy Quality Council is using quality improvement data to keep patients safe and take action to prevent perforation of the bowel (a rare but serious complication of colonoscopy).

But what good is a structure without people?! Our quality councils are full of dedicated leaders who are committed to doing the very best for staff, patients, families and our communities. This includes having the expertise of patients to inform our planning and decisions around safe, quality care. One of our patient partners, Sunny Loo, explained why this balance of membership is important:

“We all consider ourselves patients or caregivers. However, when it comes to discussions and decisions regarding the health care system, providers and administrators are influenced by their professional experience and instinctually think firstly about efficiency, expediency, processes and economics. All significant factors, but these things may not necessarily be most important to patients: only the patient advisors speak from the patients’ perspective.”

You’re wanted! Join one of Island Health’s Quality Councils

At Island Health we have openings for a number of patient partners on our quality councils. We are currently seeking people who:

  • Have experience with receiving care or had a loved one receive care from Island Health within the last several years;
  • Are interested in sharing insights and information about their health care experiences in ways that others can learn from;
  • Are comfortable participating in a committee setting, including sharing lived experiences in a group;
  • Can work respectfully in partnership with a variety of other people; and,
  • Take a constructive approach to discussing concerns and ideas to address them.

We encourage you to consider this unique experience! See all the engagement opportunities available on Vancouver Island and RSVP to the councils you’d like to join – we’re looking forward to hearing from you! ”

 “It is a privilege to sit on a council as a patient advisor.  However, having patient representation is NOT a matter of privilege but a patients’ right – their right to actively participate in all aspects of their health care, from treatment decisions to policies. I feel my engagement enables solutions to focus on what is implementable to patients in our world.  What works on paper and is sensible to the system may not meet the factors influencing patients.”
Sunny Loo, patient advisor at one of Island Health’s Quality Councils

Guest post written by Catherine Marrie

Catherine Marrie is a consultant with Island Health's Quality and Patient Safety Portfolio.

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