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Because your voice matters.

Focus Group Participant, Acute Psychiatry Guidelines Review

Posted • Last updated


Open to Fraser – Vancouver Coastal, Patient partners in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

Last updated

Do you have an interest in acute psychiatry? Providence Health Care is looking for patient and family input in reviewing a new guideline related to patients who leave an acute inpatient psychiatry against the advice of their care team.

Open to: Patient partners in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

Lead Organization or Department

Providence Health Care - Mental Health Program


A small group will meet to review guidelines related to patients who leave an acute inpatient psychiatry against the advice of their care team, or medical orders. The guideline focuses on screening patients who are at risk to leave, actions to mitigate risk/support care in-hospital, and steps (protocol) to take if a patient leaves. Patient partners will review the guideline and offer suggestions for improvement, particularly as it relates to their past care experience(s) in acute psychiatry. They will meet with a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Educators to engage in discussion and offer feedback.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of consult on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will listen to and acknowledge your ideas and concerns, and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.


  • Preference is for a patient or family member of a patient who has received acute psychiatric care at any site. Preference for individuals with experience in the past 5 years.
  • Proficiency with reading and writing in English, and specifically comfort reviewing a 10-page document written for a medical audience
  • Experience collaborating with small groups would be an asset
  • Regular access to email for proof-reading/editing will be required
If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and Volunteer Agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact the engagement leader directly.


  • Vacancies: 2
  • Patient partners will have the option of participating in person or via telephone. It is anticipated that selected patient partners will be involved in one or two short meetings
  • A copy of the draft guideline will be provided via email in advance of the meeting


Expenses related to travel (i.e. transit, parking up to $18/day, approved mileage) to attend the session will be reimbursed by Providence Health Care. Please note that reimbursement typically takes 4-6 weeks. If this is a concern, please contact Karen Estrin for alternate arrangements.


The goal of this guideline is to ensure the clinical team provides safe and evidence-based care of patients who have absconded (or are at risk of absconding) from an acute psychiatric inpatient unit.  At present, the clinical team uses a checklist to guide their actions; however, there is a need for a guideline – grounded in current literature and best practice – to further support risk screening, assessment, and decision-making. This document will be used by inpatient psychiatrists and nurses.

Engagement Leader Contact Information

Karen Estrin
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Lower Mainland & Sunshine Coast

From Our Community

Karla Warkotsch

Patient Experience Consultant – Interior Health

Karla Warkotsch

The question I like to ask health care employees is ‘Who is this for?’ and ‘Do we have the right people at the table?’ As a health care employee, I see how easy it is to fall into doing for, rather than doing with patients. The voices of the patient, family and caregiver are essential to ensure the patient is central to the direction and focus of the work being done.