The Patient Voices Network is a community of patients, families and caregivers working with health care partners to improve our health care system.
The inclusion of patient voices provides new perspectives and greater understanding for both patient and health care partners, leading to more informed decisions. Our community shares a common purpose to include the patient voice in problem solving and decision making to improve BC’s health care system.
Our story dates back to 2009, when we were created by the Ministry of Health as part of its Patients as Partners strategy. Since then we have been matching volunteers with health care partners who are seeking to engage patients in their efforts to improve quality of care. We were first supported by ImpactBC; in December 2015 this responsibility was transferred to the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. We’ve shared an account of our first year being supported by the Council in our 2016 Annual Report.
The biggest thing that I want people to know about being a part of PVN is that you have a voice. You get to speak to issues and ideas and people about health and health care, and you get to be a part of things that are happening to make a change.
Michel White, PVN Patient Partner
PVN Patient Partners & Friends
Patient partners are patients, families and caregivers who participate in engagement opportunities that are requested by health care partners. Each opportunity is unique and depends on the needs of a particular project. For example, they sit on working groups, help develop programs and resources, and teach care providers about the patient experience. Patient partners also receive training, education and ongoing support so that they can have meaningful impacts.
Friends are patients, families and caregivers who receive news about our activities and learning events.
Any BC resident is invited to join PVN, as each person has a unique experience of interacting with the health care system and can contribute to important conversations about care.
Health Care Partners
Health care partners are health authorities, health organizations, and non-profit organizations who share our vision of including patient voices to improve quality of care. We establish close relationships with them, working together to identify and create volunteer opportunities for patients. We strongly believe that this process helps ensure that opportunities are meaningful for both health care partners and patients.
The perspective of patients and their families will change health care because we are ‘experts by experience.’ We are motivated by a strong desire that no more families should suffer. PVN gives us the opportunity to partner with professionals who see the same problems but can be hampered by being embedded in the very system that created them.
Johanna Trimble, Patient Partner
Our patient partners, friends and health care partners are supported by the BCPSQC’s Patient & Public Engagement team.
Engagement leaders from the Council assist with recruitment, orientation and support of patient partners, while working with health system stakeholders to develop and promote engagement opportunities. They are located in communities throughout the province to build relationships and provide understanding of the local environment.
Click here to meet the PVN team and connect with the engagement leaders in your region.