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Thank you for your interest in engaging patient partners in your improvement work! Together, you ensure your improvement work reflects needs and experiences of the people it impacts.

PVN has over 1,200 diverse patient partners from across British Columbia. Patient partners are eager to share their health care experiences with you!

The Guide to Authentic Patient Engagement and video series provides information to:

  • Clarify the patient partners’ role
  • Identify patient partner level of participation
  • Confirm the aim of the opportunity
  • Gauge the readiness of your team to engage patient partners

Taking this time to plan, in the beginning, provides the foundation for meaningful involvement.

The Engagement Request Form (ERF) is where you go to find patient partners.

What do I do First

There are four steps for being prepared to be a health care partner:

  1. Talk about involving patient partners with your team. Understanding whether your team is ready to work with patient partners is important to set your project up for success.
  2. Read through the Guide to Authentic Patient Engagement and video series to help plan out your engagement request.
  3. Use the sample Engagement Request Form (ERF), planning template and canvas to help write out your engagement plan.  
  4. Read the Health Care Partner PVN Service User Agreement that outlines what’s expected from you to be able to use PVN.

Patient Partner Preparation

Prior to being matched with an opportunity, PVN patient partners:

  1. Complete a sign-up form. The sign-up is designed to help clarify the role of patient partners and gather information that best supports patients, family members and caregivers to get involved.
  2. Take part in a one-hour orientation. This session includes information about the role of a patient partner, how PVN works, and a brief overview of BC’s health care system. The intent is to orient people to work with you!
  3. Sign the Patient Partner PVN Service User Agreement. This user agreement outlines the responsibilities of a patient partner to have access to the PVN platform.

As a health care partner, you can recruit non-PVN members to your opportunity. In this case, your organization would be responsible for any preparation work such as orientations or volunteer agreements.

Preparation helps the patient partners be ready right away!

*As a low-barrier network, PVN patient partners’ sign-up does not include reference checks, police information checks or any liability insurance. Health Quality BC encourages you to check with your organization about any requirements it may have before proceeding with a patient partner.

Creating an Opportunity

Health care partners create engagement opportunities. Patient partners RSVP their interest in your opportunity. This process is easy to access, when and where it works for you. Let’s get started! You begin by:

  • Clarifying the patient partner’s role and their level of participation
  • Sharing the aim of your engagement opportunity
  • Discussing your team’s understanding of how to work with patient partners

These are the most important first steps before creating the engagement opportunity. The Guide to Authentic Patient Engagement and video series can show you the way. The Engagement Request Form (ERF) helps you write an invitation to patient partners. A sample ERF, planning template and canvas provide some background for you as you work on your engagement plan.

Submit the ERF and receive a link. PVN sends a link to you to review, edit and confirm your engagement opportunity. Health Quality BC reviews the submission using the Health Care Partner PVN Service User Agreement and informs you when the engagement opportunity goes live.

Once confirmed, we promote your opportunity in a couple of ways:

  • Post on the PVN website as soon as possible
  • Send out a Tuesday email blast*

*For posting in the Tuesday afternoon newsletter, your ERF must be received by no later than 4 p.m., the previous Friday. Statutory holidays may impact timing. We will contact you if there are any changes of note.

Share the link with your networks. PVN encourages you to share the link with any networks you may have in order to amplify the opportunity.

The Health Care Partner PVN Service User Agreement outlines what’s expected from you to be able to use PVN.

Choosing Patient Partners

Interested patient partners fill out an RSVP form that goes directly to your inbox! You follow up with the patient partner(s) and explore if their interest fits with the goals of your opportunity.  You can host a discussion so that the health care and patient partners can meet each other, discuss the opportunity, and ask questions. It’s up to you to decide how to move forward.

You can find helpful tools in the resource section.

Closing the Loop

Closing the loop (CTL) is a key step in patient engagement. It should happen when an engagement opportunity ends or when a patient partner’s term or involvement in an engagement concludes. It involves the health care partner(s) that led the engagement communicating three key things:

  1. Appreciation. Acknowledge the end of the engagement and thank patient partners for their participation.
  2. Engagement Outcome/Impact. Share how the contribution of patient partners influenced the initiative. 
  3. Initiative Outcome/Impact. Share if the initiative met its aim. Share outcomes, impacts, or progress made to date. 

Note: It is good practice to share progress and communicate impact with patient partners on an ongoing basis, not only at the end of an engagement.

Health Quality BC has created some materials to use for this important step.

CTL Template

CTL Template – Example

CTL Engagement Notes Template


From Our Community

Shana Ooms

Executive Director of Primary Care Strategy, Policy and Quality — BC Ministry of Health

Shana Ooms

Where those of us in the room may have debated policy or wording, patient voices made sure patients were top of mind. And as a result, significant improvements were made to simplify something that was otherwise complex. Patient voices at the table bring us back to reality in terms of what we are trying to achieve.

Laura Parmar

Physician Quality Improvement Coach — Northern Health

Laura Palmer

It has been so rewarding to go from an idea to working with such a great group of dedicated people from so many different organizations towards a very fun and rewarding project. Several extremely engaged PVN members expressed interest in being part of piloting a patient virtual care peer support system. I am confident that this is the beginning of many more exciting collaborations!