This past March, 26 members from Patients for Patient Safety Canada (PFPSC), a patient-led program of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), met for a powerful two-day in-person meeting. For many, it was like coming home. They felt they were being heard and that their experience and insight was valued. The members of the program left the two-day event feeling hopeful that their unique perspective can make a difference in the healthcare system.
The meeting goals were to build further knowledge and understanding about the important relationship between CPSI and PFPSC, foster strong relationships between PFPSC members and to increase confidence as advocates for patient safety. A WHO workshop was held in conjunction with the meeting, where 11 additional PFPSC members qualified for the WHO Patients for Patient Safety (PFPS) Champion designation.
Hugh MacLeod, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, kicked-off the meeting relaying his personal experience as a patient and reinforced the important role patients and family members play in the healthcare system. CPSI recognized the importance and the necessity of the two-way relationship with PFPSC, including the patient voice within CPSI
“I now have a clearer understanding of how CPSI supports PFPSC and how they value the insight that can be provided from our vantage point,” says Tanya Barnett, a new PFPSC member. “CPSI truly appreciates our experience and how our stories can drive change in the healthcare system.”
Nittita Prasopa-Plaizier, WHO PFPS Program Manager, shared the new PFPS strategy and highlighted the need to demonstrate the impact of patient engagement and to find ways to maximize the effectiveness of the program’s work.
Kim Neudorf, a PFPSC member since 2009, found Nittita’s presentation very powerful. “Nittita reinforced how the patient is the only constant, as they are present at every point in time during their care. It raised the question of how can the healthcare system not involve them?”
Barbara Balik, Principal of Common Fire Healthcare Consulting and Senior Faculty at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, shared her insights about patient-centred care and safety. She referred to our work as “disruptive innovators”, challenging the status quo in a positive way.
“Barbara’s inspirational message focused on the importance of storytelling,” says Theresa Malloy-Miller, a PFPSC member since 2006. “She provided some great tips on how to stay focused and be clear about what you want to achieve when telling your story.”
Stephanie Newell, who heads PFPS Australia, outlined how legislation is mandating consumer representation on federal committees. The requirements for consumer partnership in the new National Safety and Quality Standards have created more opportunities for public participation.
“The networking opportunities were priceless and the meeting built a sense of team,” says Phil Capone, a PFPSC member since 2012. “The energy and passion for change demonstrated by the PFPSC members attending was truly remarkable and a testament to how deeply committed we are to advancing patient safety.”
Presentations by PFPSC members, small group discussions and question and answer sessions unleashed some great exchanges. The flurry of positive comments received from those who attended confirmed that the in-person meeting was a great success.