KGH helping spread the word about Patient and Family Centred Care

News / General
By Matthew Manor

There is a lot of curiosity across the health-care community about how Kingston General Hospital has been partnering with patient experience advisors and embedding patient-centred care into almost everything we do.

Just ask one of our Patient Experience Advisors Angela Morin. She and Eleanor Rivoire, VP of Clinical Administration, Professional Practice and Chief Nursing Executive, were presenters on a panel called 'The Patient Experience' earlier this month at the Ontario Hospital Associationís Health Achieve conference in Toronto.

"There were plenty of questions and a lot of enthusiasm about how KGH is partnering with patients to constantly improve care," says Morin. "We are definitely being looked at as a leader. There was also an acknowledgement at the conference that this is the direction health care is now heading."

Patient-centred care is an idea whose time has come, and the growing interest in KGH's experience is not contained to Canada. Patient Experience Advisor Anndale McTavish and CEO Leslee Thompson were both invited to London, England last week to speak to The King's Fund. This prestigious organization holds an annual conference on transforming the patient experience. Our presentation was entitled 'Achieving organizational change in partnership with patients and families: a case study.'

"It was a real honour for us to be invited and people were really impressed with what we are doing at KGH and we certainly learned a lot too," says Thompson. "We heard some great presentations during the conference and met with a lot of interesting people. What stands out is that while we are all going through a lot of change in our health care systems, partnering with patients is a value we all share and that we are working hard to bring to life."

Since establishing our Patient and Family Advisory Council and implementing Patient and Family Centred Care back in 2010, KGH has made tremendous progress in a short period of time. There are now 51 Patient Experience Advisors on committees around the hospital. And we are regularly fielding calls from hospitals in Ontario and other provinces and countries about our program, particularly after KGH was honoured with the 2012 NRC Picker Innovative Best Practice Award for Canada for our patient-centred care. Now, weíre prepared to share our successes by hosting a special conference in the spring.

"The KGH conference is being designed as a knowledge exchange forum about what is unfolding in the health care system to transform the patient experience," says Eleanor Rivoire, "It will have Patient and Family Centred Care, Interprofessional Collaborative practice and Interprofessional education as its foundations."

Planning is now underway for the event and there will be more details to share soon on the agenda and the speakers.

"It's all about showcasing what we're achieving at KGH," says Rivoire. "And more importantly, we want to keep learning about new and better ways to transform the patient experience."