Skip to main content

Because your voice matters.

Research Partner, Patient-Centred Technologies to Improve Journeys through the Emergency Department

Posted • Last updated


Open to Fraser – Vancouver Coastal, Patient partners in the Vancouver area

Last updated

Emergency department (ED) visits can be a challenging experience for patients and families. Lend your experience as part of a research team working to develop a mobile app that could make the experience better. Previous experience as a research partner is desirable but not necessary; training and mentorship will be provided, so it may be your opportunity to learn more about health research!

Open to: Patient partners in the Vancouver area

Lead Organization or Department

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Medicine, Digital Emergency Medicine Program


This research project aims to develop an evidence-based mobile application to improve patient flow, reduce wait-times, and enhance communication between patients and health professionals. This may, in turn, contribute to enhanced patient experience, overall satisfaction and improved patient outcomes. As a patient research partner, you would attend monthly team meetings to discuss progress of the project. Other roles may include helping to interpret study findings, reviewing documents for plain language, and being a co-author on any publications that come out of the study. These roles are negotiable and you will be supported and mentored as needed throughout.

Level of Engagement

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


  • Patients or informal caregivers (e.g., family member) from the Vancouver area who have visited an emergency department in BC within the past 5 years.
  • Comfort with sharing experiences and opinions in a collaborative team environment is important.
  • The ability to read and understand technical or scientific reports in English is required.
  • Access to a computer with email and the ability to use business software such as word processing for reviewing documents is required.
  • Ability to attend monthly meetings and to commit to the project until December 2019.
  • Some background in health research is an asset, but not necessary. Training and mentoring will be provided as needed.
  • Patients should have previously attended a PVN orientation and completed the Volunteer Agreement.


  • Vacancies: 2
  • Monthly meetings lasting approximately 90 minutes take place at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, 3rd Floor, 818 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver. It will also be possible to phone into the meeting.
  • Some preparation such as reviewing background documents before or after meetings is expected.
  • Because the team includes care providers whose schedules vary, members are polled monthly to find mutually convenient days and times. The next meeting is scheduled for June 6, 4:00-5:30 pm.
  • The project is expected to wrap up in December 2019.


Out-of-pocket expenses such as mileage and parking will be reimbursed according to the policies of the University of British Columbia which sets the rates. Please note that it will take several weeks to process and receipts will be required.


The Digital Emergency Medicine program does research aimed at developing innovative technology-based solutions to improve patient and provider experience, improve patient outcomes, and create a more cost-effective health care system. You can learn more about this program here. This project, called Patient-Centred Technologies to Improve Journeys Through the Emergency Department, is currently at the stage of preparing for execution of the study and recruiting study participants for phase 1. There are three phases, described below. The project is expected to wrap up in December 2019. Phase 1: One-on-one telephone interviews and on-line surveys with patients and informal caregivers (e.g., family members) who have visited an emergency department in BC within the last 5 years. If you are interested in the interviews, please see the invitation for the Patient-Centred Technologies to Improve Journeys through the Emergency Department Focus Group or Interview Participant opportunity. Phase 2: This phase includes usability testing of the technology and will occur after a prototype is developed. The purpose is to test functionality of the prototype app with a group of smartphone users to detect any potential issues/errors and identify areas where improvements can be made. Phase 3: Testing the final product with a group of emergency department end-users to get feedback on its usability through a set of open-ended questions. Participants may be respondents from the initial interviews in phase 1 who have indicated their interest in trying the final product and provided permission on the consent form to be contacted.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Colleen McGavin
Patient Engagement Lead, BC SUPPORT Unit

From Our Community

Lisa Dyck

Former Manager, BC Emergency Medicine Network

Lisa Dyck

PVN patient partner’s feedback has reinforced the important relationships between patients and providers for emergency care. Our partnership with PVN has brought many new opportunities to adjust how health care and patient partners can work together on BC Emergency Medicine Network priorities.