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Because your voice matters.

Health Care Partner FAQs

Posted • Last updated

Welcome to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Health Care Partners! As we continue to support what you need to be confident as a PVN member, we will continue to add to these. If you do not find the answer to your question here, we encourage you to contact by telephone at 1.877.282.1919 or email pvn@bcpsqc.ca.

Why is PVN important to improving health care in BC?

As experts in their own lives, patients can provide health system administrators and care providers with important information on how to best improve the health care system. Research shows that when patients and the public work with health care partners it ensures that the health care system reflects the needs and priorities of all those involved. PVN is a platform for the patients’ voice to be heard and reflected within those health care improvements.

Who makes up PVN?

PVN is made up of two groups: patient and health care partners. Patient partners participate in engagement opportunities that are created by health care partners and supported by the Council. Health care partners are those who are working in delivering health care and are interesting in improving it.

What is an engagement opportunity?

Engagement opportunities put forward through PVN are focused on improving health care, whether it’s at the community, regional or provincial level. Some examples of opportunities include:
• Joining advisory committees and working groups
• Helping develop programs and resources
• Telling your story at workshops, conferences, and other events
• Sharing the patient experience with care providers
• Participating in surveys, focus groups and other ways of providing feedback

Is PVN volunteer work confidential?

All information shared with patient partners throughout engagements will be kept confidential as per the Volunteer Agreement. Health care partners are also reminded that information shared by patient partners during the opportunity is confidential unless approved by the patient partner to be shared.

What is the Patient Voices Network (PVN)?

The Patient Voices Network (PVN) is a community of patients, families and caregivers working together with health care partners to improve BC’s health care system. Patient Partners connect with health care organizations and initiatives looking for the patients’ perspective, by sharing their own lived experiences within the health care system.

Who supports PVN?

PVN is supported and funded by the BC Ministry of Health, which created the Network 2009. The Network has been administered by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (the Council) since December 2015.

The Patient Voices Network mandate is developed in consultation with its Oversight & Advisory Committee, which also serves to provide guidance and support to the Network. Members of the committee include representatives from health care organizations, the Ministry of Health and the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, as well as an equal number of patient representatives from across BC.

How can I get involved as a Health Care Partner?

Read through the steps for health care teams. We are here to meet you where you are at in your journey to involve patients, families, and caregivers.

Where does my engagement opportunity get promoted?

Every Tuesday, our newsletter is sent by email to all Patient Voices Network (PVN) members with all open engagement opportunities and those posted within the last 7 days marked as “new”. They can also see all open opportunities on our Engagement Opportunities page on our website. If they spot an opportunity that matches their interests and availability, they fill out its RSVP form. RSVP forms are shared with health care teams to move forward with potential placement in the opportunity.

What does the Volunteer Agreement cover?

The purpose of the Volunteer Agreement is to support patient partners by highlighting the values of the Patient Voices Network. It helps to ensure that patient partners understand the commitment and expectations of joining PVN and how the team at the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (the Council) will work with and support them should an issue arise. The agreement includes:
• Our commitment to volunteers;
• Volunteer responsibilities/code of conduct;
• Confidentiality; and
• Conduct management process

In addition, PVN members participating in opportunities through PVN can be covered by the Council’s liability insurance by signing the Agreement. The Volunteer Agreement is also used to explain and get consent for the way that the Council collects and shares personal information as part of engagement opportunities with health care partners and other patient partners.

Signing the Volunteer Agreement is required for a patient partner to become a member of PVN.

How does PVN store the information that is submitted?

All information submitted is stored on the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council’s secure and closed server, within Canada.

Do patient partners complete a criminal record check?

In most cases, Patient Partners are not required to complete a criminal record check because PVN Patient Partners do not work directly with patients, youth, children, and other vulnerable populations. Occasionally, however, a specific engagement opportunity may require patient partners to complete a criminal record check if they are selected; they will be notified when this is a requirement.

A patient partner is interested in addressing a particular issue or cause. Does PVN provide that opportunity?

No. If patient partners are interested in addressing a specific gap or concern that they have witnessed or experienced in the health care system, they will be referred to the department at the relevant hospital or health authority Patient Care Quality Office.

From Our Community

Shannon Griffin

Leader, Patient and Family Centred Care in Fraser Health

Shannon Griffin

Recently, a PVN Patient Advisor asked healthcare partners, “What are we learning from patients, families, and others thus far during this pandemic?”. This is an excellent question and one to ask ourselves daily.