As a community-teaching hospital, St. Joe’s strives to integrate the voices of the people who live in the community to help shape how the Health Centre delivers on its Mission and Vision. When patients, families and community members talk about St. Joe’s they tell stories about the caring nurse, the compassionate doctor and the helpful staff member who made their time here memorable. They also share their ideas with us about how we can provide an even better experience for other patients. It is through their voices and stories that the Patient & Family Advisor (PFA) role has emerged.
What is our Patient & Family Advisor role?
The mandate of the PFA role is to ensure that the voice of the patient is included in our planning and decision making on policies, programs and practices that directly affect clinical care and services at the bedside.
We are partnering and working with our PFAs in a variety of short-term and long-term initiatives, including in our leadership and staff hiring processes, medicine reconciliations practices, and infection control procedures, to name a few opportunities.
Our dynamic and energetic PFAs are putting the patient voice into action and holding St. Joe’s accountable to be responsive to the ever changing and emerging needs of the community.
Objectives for the Patient & Family Advisor role are:
- To partner with leadership, staff and physicians in activities that are designed to ensure patient and family centred care is provided in an environment that promotes healing, ensures dignity and instills trust.
- To keep the patient and family as the centre of our healthcare system.
- To be viewed as a positive reinforcement to foster exceptional patient and family centred care.
- To build partnerships with health care professionals based on mutual respect and open communication.
- To participate in facility design, quality improvement, program development and education.
- To support the hospital and clinics in their process improvement projects.
- To be accountable to St. Joseph’s Lead for Patient & Family Engagement
In the words of our PFAs:
“To me, the PFA role is the centre of the healthcare universe. It helps support patient and healthcare providers to work together to bring their best game to the community. …” (Diane)
“For me, the hospital first and foremost is a community. I have used many of the services here as a patient, including helping me to re-learn the most basic skills after having suffered a brain injury. As a PFA I have taken part in several initiatives, through which I have been able to give back as well as rebuild my cognitive, social and language skills. I feel privileged to be part of this community where individuals are approached with dignity and respect.” (Judie)
How can I become a Patient & Family Advisor?
We are pleased to share that we have a growing number of PFAs since the role was first developed in 2013. However our aim is to continually expand this important group that is truly the voice of our patients and families.
If you have been a patient, family/friend support person to a patient, or live in the community and have an interest in learning more about the PFA role please contact our Patient & Family Experience and Community Engagement Team by emailing email@example.com or by calling 416-530-6000 (please press 1) then dial extension #3379 for further information.
As St. Joe’s supports a variety of opportunities for patients and families to make a difference in the services and care that we provide, you may also be interested in learning more about our Community Engagement Council.