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Because your voice matters.

Focus Group Participant, Texting to Offer Medication Counselling



Commitment: Short-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Provincial Region


Volunteer Opportunity
St. Paul’s Hospital Ambulatory Pharmacy is going to start texting their patients to offer medication counselling. They are seeking ten patient partners to join a one-hour focus group to ensure the text messages respect patients’ privacy and are easy to understand!


Lead Organization/Department
Health Informatics Department and St. Paul’s Hospital Ambulatory Pharmacy, Providence Health Care (PHC)

• By texting patients, St. Paul’s Hospital Ambulatory Pharmacy aims to ensure patients are aware pharmacists are available to answer questions about their medications with each dispensing, as per requirements of the BC College of Pharmacists.
• Patient partners will share feedback into the wording and workflow for the text messages. They will help us understand how this service can best meet the needs of equity-seeking groups and maintain patient safety and privacy.

Level of Engagement
This opportunity is at the level of collaborate on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will work together with you to formulate solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible.

Open to volunteers from across the province who:
• Have experience with long-term prescriptions (such as those for chronic disease management).
• Are interested in patient privacy.
• Are comfortable sharing aspects of their story and circumstances with a group of patients and health organization staff during a Zoom meeting. Please note that volunteers will not be expected to share personal health information like specific diagnoses.

Residence in a rural or remote community is an asset.

• Number of vacancies: 10
• Date/Time: We are currently planning a single one-hour focus group. We hope to schedule it for December 2022 or January 2023. The date and time will be selected based on the availability of patient partners who express interest in this opportunity.
• Commitment: One-hour zoom call.
• Location: Zoom

No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria, but have concerns about your ability to participate, please contact Jami Brown ( to see if support options are available. We are always seeking to better understand and reduce barriers to participation.

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV and AIDS contracts the St. Paul’s Hospital Ambulatory Pharmacy to dispense medications for HIV treatment and prevention across BC. The College of Pharmacists of BC requires that medication counselling be offered whenever a medication is dispensed to a patient. This is more challenging for the Ambulatory Pharmacy than it is for pharmacies that primarily dispense medications in person; Ambulatory Pharmacy patients often receive their medications by mail and therefore have no direct contact with a pharmacist when their prescriptions are filled. Each day, HIV treatment and prevention medications are dispensed to about 100 BC residents.

As of now, pharmacists are cold-calling patients across the province. This can be disruptive to patients and takes a lot of time for pharmacists. In partnership with Memora Health (a software vendor), the offer for medication counselling will be done over text. If the patient requests medication counselling, a pharmacist will call the patient. Patients will have the ability to specify a preferred time to speak with a pharmacist.

The Providence Health Care Virtual Health team and staff from the St. Paul’s Hospital Ambulatory Pharmacy will be involved in the focus group(s) with patient partners.

Risks to inadvertent disclosure of chronic illness status will be mitigated by:
– only including health organization staff who need to be involved
– conducting the focus group over Zoom for Healthcare, which encrypts all data and stores data in a geo-fenced data warehouse within Canada

The setting is most related to outpatient care.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Jami Brown | BA, MAPC (she/her/hers) Engagement Leader BC Patient Safety & Quality Council 604.510.0449

From Our Community

Christine Wallsworth

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Christine Wallsworth

Patient and family partners should not be a check box on research proposals! They need to be involved right from the start. I know patient and family partners are doing their part by providing their knowledge to researchers from their lived experience.  It’s a win-win for us to work together through PVN to make sure our input drives improvements.