The aim of the engagement process is to build relationships and integrate diverse perspectives (especially of underserved and under-represented populations) into the creation, delivery, and continuous improvement of high quality health services and supportive community environments for the people of Saskatchewan. The engagement framework and toolkit for SHA leaders is designed to support engagement with patients, residents, families, communities, and other relevant stakeholders in decisions that will affect them.
Engagement is any process that includes communication, feedback, and partnerships with health care partners (patients, residents, families, volunteers, First Nation and Métis Peoples, communities, staff, and physicians) in identifying and setting priorities or direction, contributing to decisions, and influencing change. Engagement is two-way, involves the transparent exchange of information, seeks common understanding, and leads to trust-based, sustainable relationships.
Engagement is essential in creating respectful, trusting relationships and allows the health system to understand and respond to the unique needs and perspectives of the people it serves. Engagement is the cornerstone of people-centred care, which places equal value on health care expertise and lived-experience, creating a balanced partnership between people seeking care and people providing care. It operates with trust and respect, is culturally responsive, and trauma-informed.
Before initiating engagement, it is important to consider whether you have an engagement-prepared environment, whether you have considered how to create psychological and cultural safety, and how to incorporate trauma-informed practices within your engagement strategies.