The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and HealthCareCAN are pleased to recognize the 2015 Patient Safety Champion Individual Award recipient, the Price family, nominated by the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA).
The Price Family (left to right): Cathy (Matthew's wife), Joanna, Matthew, Isabelle, Dave, Chad, Teri, and Jaclyn (Chad's wife)
Dave, Isabelle, Teri, Joanna, Chad and Matthew Price work tirelessly to share the journey of the sudden and untimely death of their son and brother, 31-year old Greg, in order to inform others about the problems in continuity of care and to encourage improvements to Alberta's health system overall. The passion and unwavering commitment of his parents and siblings honour Greg's memory, while advocating for the changes necessary to effect patient-centred healthcare. Greg's sisters, Teri and Joanna, have developed a website, Health Arrows (www.healtharrows.ca) to bring awareness to continuity of care issues and to provide an avenue for individuals with similar stories to connect. The HealthArrows website is followed internationally.
"The Price family are tremendously well-deserving of the Patient Safety Champion Individual Award," says Dr. Ward Flemons, Medical Advisor, HQCA. "They have dedicated countless hours to a variety of projects in their resolve to honour Greg's memory. They are selfless in their approach and their boundless energy helps to shine a light on the issues and advocate for change that will make a positive impact on the healthcare system in Alberta and beyond."
Greg's story became the focal point of the HQCA Continuity of Patient Care Study, released in 2013. The report is often used to underscore breakdowns in the healthcare system and serve as the impetus for change. The Price family serve as advocates for the report and continually make countless presentations locally and nationally to instill the motivation for continuous, collaborative and patient-centred care. They have also recorded Greg's story in video and participated in the HQCA's Digital Storytelling workshop to help support education for healthcare providers.
The Price family participated in a public forum in January 2015, hosted by the University of Calgary's O'Brien Institute for Public Health, to announce the IMAGINE Project, a citizen-driven, patient-focused initiative to enable citizen partnership and leadership in changing the healthcare culture in Alberta. Teri and Joanna continue their involvement with IMAGINE as integral members of the IMAGINE Citizen's Collaborating for Health Steering Committee and organization.
Greg's story also sparked the innovative technology behind the ezReferral system, a web-based portal developed to manage referrals within the Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network.
By telling Greg's story, the family wants to ensure that its message is continually heard and the focus on the patient is not lost. They have stimulated conversations within healthcare organizations across Canada that are being used to teach medical residents. The family's perseverance has also resulted in changes to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) Standard of Practice for continuity of care that reinforces the duty of physicians to have a system in place to provide after-hours access for patients, and ensure a physician or surrogate is available to respond to critical test results.
"Greg had a gift for inspiring others to challenge themselves," says Dave Price, Greg's father. "He was a tenacious young man, full of energy, integrity and a desire to make a positive impact through his work and the personal relationships in his life. As a family, we are inspired by what he would have done to ensure that the healthcare system is as good as it can be. We rely on each other for the energy and commitment to tell Greg's story to make an impact, to reduce gaps in the system and ultimately to help others. As members of the public, we need to become more aware and better engaged to support and facilitate the change necessary to make the health system safer."