What does Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) look like in the Saskatchewan Health Authority?
Sixty patient advisors, and 20 health system staff and physicians came together for a day-long PFCC visioning session to determine just that on September 14 in Saskatoon.
“Our focus for the day was to come up with strategies and structures to support the advancements of PFCC throughout the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” notes Felecia Watson, Executive Director of Patient and Client Experience for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
Patient and family advisors gathered with Saskatchewan Health Authority staff for a visioning meeting
surrounding Patient and Family Centred Care in Saskatchewan on September 14.
Called, “Building Our Path Together Through Partnership and Co-Design,” the meeting set up four objectives for the day:
Long-time Saskatoon-based patient family advisor Heather Thiessen delivered opening remarks alongside Scott Livingstone, CEO of Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Those remarks were followed by an address by Susan Dunn, Engagement Advisor from Nova Scotia Health Authority. Susan shared lessons learned from Nova Scotia and moderated an Advisor panel on engagement.
“People-centred care is the destination,” Dunn told the crowd. “Engagement is a way to get there.”
Dunn expounded on engagement theory, stating that those affected by public decisions need accurate information, a voice and an opportunity to participate in how decisions are made and implemented. If given full information with their voices and concerns being heard and acknowledged, the public will generally be more supportive and seek ways to improve the quality of decisions and their implementation. They will also be less likely to oppose decisions.
A high point of the day was the co-creation of a vision statement for PFCC: To create and sustain a strong culture of people centred care and meaningful engagement that fosters the principles of respect, diversity, quality, safety, transparency and accountability.
“As a group, we also identified four priority areas for action, including recruiting and supporting advisors; recruiting, preparing, supporting and engaging staff and providers to partner with patients; engaging and supporting leadership, enabling strategic focus; and finally, engaging and educating the general public,” noted Watson. “Change ideas were then shared for each of the priority areas.”
The group also discussed different engagement structures that could support engagement with care providers, health authority governance and leadership, and the community. Different models were proposed with ideas for advisory councils, patient and family advisor mentors, and other mechanisms.
“In Saskatchewan, patient and family advisors say that patients are more included than ever in their care, and we believe that the system has been strengthened by having them involved in decision-making and committees,” Watson says. “But there are still opportunities to leverage the passion, experience and knowledge of care providers by truly engaging them in all SHA processes including leadership/governance, organizational planning, human resource processes, participation in care, environment/design, measurement development and awards and recognition.
Some of the PFCC best practices that are already implemented or are being implemented across the province include:
Other highlights of the day were captured by a survey done of participants afterwards. Some noted they felt Susan Dunn’s workshop was excellent and informational, that they especially enjoyed hearing people’s stories.
“All of the participants were very engaged and committed to having input in the future of Patient and Family Centred Care,” one participant stated.
When asked what they learned at the event, one person noted, “I learned that the Saskatchewan Health Authority is really interested in engagement, not just putting procedures and policies in for the sake of doing it."
Another responded, “We are stronger together.”
“I think that’s a great take-away from the day’s events,” noted Watson.