October is Patient- and Family-Centred Care Month, a very special month for us! We’ll be celebrating with a series of blog posts about strengthening connections and making health care more person-centred. To kick off, our engagement leader Jami Brown wrote about how we can work together to create a healthy environment of person- and family-centred care.
Health care should reflect the needs and wishes of those it serves. In theory, this is such a simple concept. The question is: how do we move towards a health care system that’s seen as a partnership between providers and patients? This, my friends, is the holy grail of a truly integrated health care system, where collective action is taken to achieve the impossible, and everyone in the system shares responsibility and decision-making to improve the health of all British Columbians.
In its purest form, patient- and family-centred care defines how we get there. By involving patients in all aspects of health care – from seeing a family doctor to being in the boardroom making decisions that impact health care for everyone – being patient- and family-centred means recognizing that this partnership is crucial to creating a well-functioning health care system.
Creating space for patient-provider relationships to thrive and grow can be an incubator for innovation. Understanding each others’ perspectives and seeking out opportunities to learn from them enhances our ability to build meaningful partnerships for collective action.
How do we get to this utopia, you might ask? Well, it starts with:
- Understanding that the patient experience is a human experience – Every interaction has a lasting impact well beyond a single visit
- Treating everyone with dignity and respect – We all bring our own beliefs and views with us each day, and that deserves honour
- Leveling the playing field – Early and often so that patients and families can participate in care and decision-making
- Encouraging input – Make this the easy choice by being receptive to creating partnerships
- Being a champion for working together – Whether it’s contributing to care plans or making decisions, sharing your support makes a massive difference to others
During October, as part of Patient- and Family-Centred Care Month, we’ll be celebrating those trailblazers out there, both health care teams and patients/families, who are partnership-builders seeking new ways to work together to improve health care in BC.
At the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, which administers PVN, we’ll continue to share tips for focusing your energy around strategies to strengthen those connections. We’ll ask you how your role in BC health care is contributing to what truly matters to patients and families. We’re excited to see the progress and ask the provocative questions that create conversations.
So grab a coffee and step into the world of patient- and family-centred care. You’ll be glad you did!