By Maryanne Matthews
THUNDER BAY – The Health Sciences Centre recently celebrated a continued commitment to Patient and Family Centred Care and the successes that have been achieved during the 7th Annual Sharing and Caring Together week. The celebration was generously sponsored thanks to the generosity of donors to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) is the provision of care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient and family preferences, needs and values, and ensures that patient is at the centre of all clinical decisions.
“PFCC is a journey, and we continuously identify and implement new ways to improve patient experiences,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Executive VP, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive, at the Health Sciences Centre. “Sharing and Caring Together Week is a time for us to reflect on the many benefits of PFCC and to celebrate some of our recent, patient-centred initiatives.”
Some of the recent PFCC successes include:
- A new Surgical Patient Rounding initiative in which a manager aims to visit every patient, every day to personally check-in with their care.
- New senior friendly discharge initiatives to ensure that senior patients and families can enjoy a safer and more seamless transition when they leave the hospital.
- A community based team of musicians, vocalists and volunteers working to develop a “music ministry” that will become a regular part of spiritual healing for patients and families who desire spiritual support through music during their hospital stay.
“PFCC is not something that just happens. It’s about making an intentional commitment to working in collaborative partnerships with patients and families,” said Dr. Crocker Ellacott. “These successes would not be possible if it weren’t for the dedication of our talented staff, physicians, nurses, clinicians, volunteers, and learners. They have helped to shape a corporate culture that is grounded in PFCC and continues to grow and improve with each passing year.”
The Health Sciences Centre has been practicing PFCC for eight years and was given a Leading Practice designation from Accreditation Canada in 2011. This year, Accreditation Canada implemented changes to further enhance the focus on patient and family centred care. In addition, Ontario’s Patients First Legislation provides an action plan that ‘exemplifies the commitment to put people and patients at the centre of the system by focusing on putting patients’ needs first.’
“As leaders in PFCC, we applaud these requirements. This external endorsement supports all hospitals to enhance PFCC, and validates the work we have done here at our Hospital,” said Nadine Doucette, Chair on the Health Sciences Centre’s Board of Directors. “I’m proud to report that we were the first hospital to include a Patient Family Advisor (PFA) as an active member of our Quality of Care Committee, bringing a unique perspective to discussions regarding critical incidences that have occurred, and the recommendations that result. We were able to do this with confidence since we’ve seen the benefit of PFA involvement in other areas, and how it’s improved outcomes. Our PFCC commitment has had a tremendously positive effect on the overall patient experience.”
The Patient and Family Advisory Council of the Health Sciences Centre has nearly 100 members and comprises a diverse and dedicated group of volunteers that have had a tremendously positive impact on the overall patient experience.
“What is different at our Hospital is that from the beginning, we have intentionally integrated the voice of the patient throughout all levels,” said Keith Taylor, Co-Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council. “Patients are members of every program and service council, including the Senior Leadership Council. We are at the table, contributing to decisions and plans to tackle the challenges we face here at the Health Sciences Centre. As PFAs we do our best to represent the needs of all the patients in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario so that we can be healthy together.”
“Donors recognize the tremendous need for world-class health care and trust the Health Sciences Foundation to use their gifts to enhance care at our hospital,” said Glenn Craig, President & CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. “Thanks to their gifts, today we’ve been able to celebrate and continue to share the knowledge each of us has gained related to Patient and Family Centred Care, making our entire facility a better place for every patient who comes through our doors.”