In 2013, #SuperSHIFTERS Jessie Checkley was tasked with enhancing the capabilities of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement's (CFHI) Patient Engagement Resource Hub and building an app that could be shared and accessed widely. Today, this open-source tool provides a robust list of resources about engaging with patients and families across the healthcare system.
What is the Patient Engagement Resource Hub?
CFHI's Patient Engagement Resource Hub is part of the organization's ongoing work to promote and provide guidance on how engaging with patients and families leads to different insights and better results than when providers work on their own. With funding from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, CFHI developed and identified a number of tools and resources to help organizations move forward in their journey of meaningfully engaging with patients and families.
In 2016, a Canadian Patient Safety Institute-led Action Team brought together 19 organizations to develop the Engaging Patients in Patient Safety: A Canadian Guide. The Action Team wanted to provide easy access to resources and new evidence on patient engagement and patient safety for inclusion in a Resource Hub. Today, there are more than 300 resources within the Patient Engagement Resource Hub to help with patient and family engagement initiatives that will improve health and healthcare.
How has the Patient Engagement Resource Hub evolved?
About five years ago, CFHI decided that the Patient Engagement Resource Hub would be valuable if it were to be an easy-to-use app. At that time, the background technology of the Hub was very cumbersome and wasn't easily searchable. It included approximately 60 resources that were not sufficiently exhaustive given the evolution of patient engagement around the world.
Throughout 2014 and 2015, CFHI improved the Hub to allow for searches by keyword, category, sources of information, country, or language and enhanced the search capabilities to include segments and intended audiences. A feature to segregate searches by new resources was also added, making it easier for regular users to see what had been added since their last visit.
Today, the Hub is a go-to resource. It works hand-in-hand with the Engaging Patients in Patient Safety: A Canadian Guide and complements other work being done in the community. It is applicable to all healthcare organizations, whether they deliver healthcare or organize the way care is delivered.
The Resource Hub is also useful for patients and families to better understand their role in engagement. As a result of the strong involvement of patients and families in the Action Team and the Patient Engagement Guide, patients and families were added as a category in the Resource Hub so that they could more easily find the resources they are looking for. In the spirit of having resources by patients, for patients, and providing them in one place, not only can patients can see themselves in the guide, but they can also contribute.
What issue has the patient safety discussion tool addressed and why?
This resource is for those in the healthcare sector who are getting started in patient engagement, or wanting to improve their processes or results. They can learn what is new and be inspired in their journey.
Both CFHI and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute work with Canadian and international organizations that, in some cases, have developed these tools or are leaders in the field of patient and family engagement. It is helpful to have it all one place, where people can search for and find information. It is a place to start with a lot to offer for those who want to enhance their knowledge.
While it may have been the first of its kind, it is certainly not the only resource of this type that exists. Many provinces and healthcare organizations have their own selection of resources on patient engagement. However, CFHI's Patient Engagement Resource Hub captures both national and international resource in one central place. What sets this resource apart is that it is intended for patients and families, as well as for providers and leaders. CFHI has staff dedicated to scanning new documents to ensure that the Hub is frequently updated. We look to partner organizations to contribute, as we all have a stake in ensuring that the voices of patients, families and citizens are included, and the work that we do is for the betterment of our healthcare system.
What was one major learning, or take away you can share with others?
The Hub is constantly evolving. If it weren't, others will fill the gap. When CFHI started, it was one of the first resources where intelligence was gathered in one spot. The goal wasn't a perfect product - it was understood that this resource would need to be adapted and updated as new knowledge becomes available in the field.
CFHI learned a lot through this process. Five years ago, most organizations were not talking about patient and family engagement. Today, many are and CFHI continues to advocate that every organization involve patients and families.
Is it replicable? Can others adopt what you've done?
Yes, with the right resources, organizations could do this. But, rather than developing multiple resources, it is better to have one. This resource is recognized both nationally and internationally as the place to go. The resources on the Hub are available because CFHI and its partners reached out to those who developed them or those who have shared them through their website. That is the open nature of the tool. It is free and nothing is proprietary. Wherever possible, we have tried to share the knowledge and information because we think it benefits everyone.
Where can people go to learn more?
To access the Patient Engagement Resource Hub, visit the CFHI website.
Patient engagement is a constantly evolving and maturing field. If you have a link to recommend, click on the "Know a Resource not on the Hub? Recommend it" button. CFHI staff monitors the website and are ready to accept your recommendations.
One of the successes of the Hub is its app; it is very convenient to access information on your tablet or phone. Download the app at www.cfhi-fcass.ca, or search "CFHI Hub" in your app store.