2017 Patient Experience Award Recipients Announced

May 24, 2017

Posted May 24, 2017

This year’s Patient Experience Awards once again highlighted the amazing work underway in the province to make positive impacts on the patient experience.

For the second year, the HQCA, in partnership with our Patient/Family Safety Advisory Panel, held the awards program to recognize and celebrate initiatives that improve the patient experience in accessing and receiving healthcare services.

We had 27 applications from across the province and from a variety of care settings.

The following four initiatives were selected to receive an award, which includes funding for a patient experience, quality, or patient safety education event and the opportunity to share more about their program through a public webcast on June 16 at 12 p.m. MDT.

“Catch and Pass” - Improving patient experience through Patient Experience Advisor Rounding

Red Deer Regional Health Centre

The Patient Experience Advisor (PEA) engages volunteers who are either former patients or family members of patients, to bring patient and family voice to front line staff in ‘real time’ through Patient Rounding. The PEA meets with a liaison or unit manager at the beginning of each shift to identify patients appropriate for Rounding. They then spend time with the identified patients, and while visiting with them, the PEAs ask specific questions about their care experience. When the PEA identifies gaps in patient information or hears of patient concerns it is communicated to unit staff in ‘real time’. This allows the care team to initiate a resolution process or if it can be resolved immediately staff will mitigate the issue and follow-up with the patient/family which often helps to reduce fears and anxieties.

PEAs often “catch” critical needs and concerns as well as patient expressions of appreciation for staff/physician behaviours that have positively impacted their overall experience. When PEAs receive these commendations they also “pass” them on to the inter-disciplinary care team in ‘real-time’.

Commitment to Comfort: Improving the pain experience of children in Alberta’s emergency departments

Alberta Children’s Hospital

The Commitment to Comfort Initiative was developed at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) emergency department (ED) to engage families as partners in improving pain outcomes for children. Children are known to experience significant short- and long-term consequences to pain, and effective treatment of pain is a high priority of families visiting emergency departments. Commitment to Comfort worked with families and patients to create and provide tools, such as posters and Comfort Menus, to help families advocate for their comfort needs. It also ensures staff have the proper tools to meet these needs, such as pain scales and comfort kits, and that they are knowledgeable on how children understand and remember pain, so they can use appropriate language when talking to children and provide helpful support during procedures. After success at the ACH, the Commitment to Comfort program was spread to all Calgary emergency departments where children are treated. Currently, 40 rural, regional, and urban emergency departments in Alberta, representing all zones, have agreed to participate in the provincial phase of the QI collaborative.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Palliative/End of Life Care Assess, Treat and Refer Program

Alberta Health Services EMS Quality/Patient Safety & Provincial Continuing Care, Community, Seniors, Addictions & Mental Health

Historically, complex care issues have left community clinicians (home care and facility staff) and paramedics with little option but to transport patients receiving palliative and end of life care (PEOLC) to the emergency department during unexpected symptom crisis. In order to support these patients and their families who have chosen to remain home, this program was launched to provide urgent care and treatment in the home setting using an interdisciplinary approach to care and avoiding transport to the hospital when appropriate. Paramedics and members of the patient’s primary/palliative care team work together to provide care aligned with the patient’s wishes, goals of care and preferred location of care, enhancing the experience of patients and their families during this difficult time.

Senior Centre Without Walls

Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network

The Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network identified a need to build stronger relationships with those who have limited social connections, particularly those who are homebound or find it challenging to attend traditional programming due to limited mobility, finances or transportation. To help address this, they set-up a Seniors Centre Without Walls program to connect seniors 55 and older through conference calls. Through these calls, seniors who are isolated are supported with an expanded social experience, an inclusive community atmosphere is built where accessibility of health and wellness information is available, and a relationship with patients is developed to determine ways to better support their needs. The program has made meaningful impacts on those who may otherwise remain isolated, particularly surrounding life events such as the passing of a spouse/friends or change in living situation. Additionally, it ensures the patients are being supported with evidence-based and truthful information that will positively impact their overall wellbeing.