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​​​​​Highlights from the November 20, 2014 Knowledge Transfer Session on “How to be part of a committee”

Tips for patients/families

  • Be prepared (e.g. review materials), bring ideas with you to the committee
  • Come with confidence, be comfortable to challenge assumptions, speak up
  • Be prepared for the reality of committee work, some work may take a long time to complete
  • Ask clarifying questions if what is discussed isn’t clear (e.g. technical topic, lingo, acronyms)
  • Have a professional tone and appearance
  • Be aware of personal blindspots and biases
  • Listen carefully
  • Have a liaison/mentor in the group
  • When “wearing multiple hats” clarify the perspective you’re taking when framing your comments

Tips for providers

  • Clarify the purpose of the committee, the role of the patient representative and the value they add
  • Have more than one patient representative- ensure there is a strong and visible patient voice
  • Select patient representatives who match well with the focus of the committee
  • Orient the volunteer to the role, committee and the project/task
  • Orient the committee in partnering with patients: clarify expectations, roles, arrangements
  • Expect that the patient representative may not have healthcare experience, support them as they learn
  • Value patient voice, be inclusive, respectful, take in consideration what is offered
  • Be open to another perspective
  • Recognize healthcare can be a “stale” industry with blind spots – listen actively

Indicators that you are being heard and making a difference

  • See a change in discussion, in a decision
  • “Aha” moment
  • Enabling conversation (that otherwise would not have happened), furthering a conversation
  • The feeling in the room – open dialogue
  • Keeping open discussion flowing
  • Ideas spread throughout an organization – not just in the committee
  • Satisfaction of the person representing PFPSC
  • Evolving change – patient perspective is evolving too
  • Credibility within the organization – it is expected that every committee has the patient voice represented
  • Getting invited back – requesting representation on other committees

Closing comments

  • Feedback is important and should come from both directions (patient/families and collaborators)
  • Getting a response – positive or negative – at least you are being heard (listened to)
  • Silence is bad – speak up – ask for feedback if you are not getting it.