CEO Blog: The Hard Work of Client and Family Centred Care

Last month Holland Bloorview hosted providers and caregivers from across Ontario for a working day on building better health care experiences (catch some key moments on Twitter by looking for #PACE2016 and on our website). Speakers included National Health Service (UK) leader Helen Bevan and Health Quality Ontario CEO Joshua Tepper. Here are 4 of my takeaways.

  1. The work of enhancing health care experience isn’t about “provider bad patient good”
  2. Making change doesn’t need to be about big top down initiatives
  3. We all have much to learn from each other
  4. Day to day moment to moment care experiences are the most meaningful places to enhance patient AND provider experiences
  1. The work of enhancing health care experience isn’t about “provider bad patient good”
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Word bubble from the interactive window display build

As we evolve our work in client and family centred care, patient engagement, patient experience and other framings of how to put patients and carers in the centre of health care, we need to emphasize that providers (doctors, nurses, therapists) are not the “bad guys.” No one walks into work at a hospital wanting to do anything but the best for his or her patients. Patient and provider experience can both be enhanced – this doesn’t need to be zero-sum game.

  1. Making change doesn’t need to be about big top down initiatives

The most impactful change can be small, at the margins, not achieved by asking permission. Everyone within a hospital can be an agent of change one moment, interaction, patient, decision at a time. And those changes can spread organically and meaningfully.

  1. We all have much to learn from each other
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PACE Forum participants learning from each other during Quick Hits presentations

No one institution or organization has a monopoly on what makes care patient centred or what constitutes the optimal patient experience. Learning organizations need to be humble in order to benefit from the experience of others. Within organizations individuals learn from each other best when teams are diverse, everyone shares ownership, avoids finger pointing and commits to empathy and mutual respect.

  1. Day to day moment to moment care experiences are the most meaningful places to enhance patient AND provider experiences

The art of patient centred care doesn’t happen in boardrooms or conference centres. It happens in the clinic room, at the point of referral, at the bedside. It is enabled in problem-solving discussions amongst team members and between managers and front-line professionals, in collaborative practice meetings, not to mention in hallways, at desks and in break rooms.

 

Client and family centred care isn’t just work, it is hard work. It is important work and work we are going to do together because the only thing that matters is best care and the best care is care co-created together.

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