Patient Partner Perspective: Using Data to Drive Meaningful Change in Health Care

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PVN patient partners have the chance to attend many of the workshops offered by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, which cover topics such as applying design principles to health care challenges and using data to drive improvement projects. We recently sponsored two patient partners to attend these workshops and, in the first of two blog posts, we heard from PVN Patient Partner Jesmina Biserovic about her experience at the workshop, and how she would relate what she had learned to her work and back to PVN.

Jesmina attended the Council’s workshop called Data-Driven Improvement in December 2018. Jesmina volunteers with PVN and works in health care, so she was able to apply what she learned through a patient lens as well as her professional lens. She works at the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Ministry of Health, which covers cost-effective and affordable prescription drugs for BC residents. The division ensures coverage is fair by basing it on family income.

Since her role is to communicate new information about Fair Pharmacare to patients who represent multiple demographics and have a range of knowledge about how their rates are covered, Jesmina thought that the Data-Driven Improvement workshop would help her turn the information on the Pharmacare website into something that could be more easily understood by so many different patients. She says: “With a focus on plain language and the use of images, I believe our information will be more inviting and easy to navigate by the public, especially for new residents, seniors, and people whose first language is not English.”

Jesmina was happy to hear that attendees didn’t have to be statisticians or economists to get something from the Data-Driven Improvement workshop. “What I hoped to gain”, she explains, “was the ability to measure the use of our many PharmaCare web pages as they become more user-friendly, and ultimately, to see where we are hitting our mark and where we can improve.” With a goal of making sure the information was as accessible as possible for the patients who need it, Jesmina came to the right workshop!

Jesmina especially found use in the hands-on practice of creating visuals based on health care-related case study data: “it demonstrates how we can measure our data to see if our changes are working to attract key audiences. The key questions we are encouraged to ask are ‘how is the data collected?’, ‘how is the indicator defined?’ and ‘how are we performing?’.”

With the use of data-driven improvement tools, Jesmina says, she and her colleagues will be able to confirm which information is clearly outlined for readers and further identify areas for improvement. As a patient partner, she was able to reconnect with volunteers she’s met previously through PVN at the workshop and share what they’ve learned from their respective engagements. Through attending these workshops, Jesmina says, patient partners are able to be active participants in creating positive patient experiences across the province.

“Woohoo for using data to drive meaningful change! Those are not words I would have seen coming from my mouth before attending this workshop”, she exclaims. “I’m excited to use my knowledge in both my work and in future PVN volunteer opportunities in 2019!”

Thanks for sharing, Jesmina! Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more about the patient partner experience of the Design Thinking workshop!

Written by Lauren McGuire-Wood

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