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Working Together to Help Improve Our Hospital

What is a patient and family advisor?

A patient and family advisor is someone who:

  • Wants to help improve the quality of our hospital’s care for all patients and family members
  • Gives feedback to the hospital based on his or her own experiences as a patient or family member
  • Helps us plan changes to improve how we take care of patients
  • Works with the hospital for either short- or long-term commitments, depending on the project
  • Volunteers his or her time typically (usually at least 1 hour and not more than 4 hours per month)

Patient and family advisors provide a voice that represents all patients and families of patients who receive care at The Ottawa Hospital.

They partner with hospital doctors, nurses, and administrators to help improve the quality of our hospital’s care for all patients and family members.

Why should you become a patient and family advisor?

When you or your family member was in the hospital, did you think there were things we could have done better?

Do you have ideas about how to make sure other patients and families get the best care possible?

At The Ottawa Hospital, patient and family advisors give us feedback and ideas to help us improve the quality and safety of care we provide.

Who can be a patient and family advisor?

You can be an advisor if you or a family member received care at The Ottawa Hospital in the last 5 years.

You do not need any special qualifications to be an advisor.

What’s most important is your experience as a patient or family member. We will provide you with any other training you need.

What do patient and family advisors do?

If you are an advisor for our hospital, you can help us in the following ways:

  • Share your story. Advisors help by talking about their health care experiences with clinicians, staff, and other patients.
  • Participate in discussion groups. Advisors tell us what it’s like to be a patient at our hospital  and what we can do to improve.
  • Review or help create educational or informational materials. Advisors help review or create materials like forms, health information handouts, and discharge instructions. Advisors help us make these materials easier for all patients and family members to understand and use.
  • Work on short-term projects. We sometimes ask advisors to partner with us in making improvements  —  for example, helping to plan and design a family resource room.
  • Serve on a patient and family advisory council. An advisory council discusses and plans changes to improve hospital quality and safety. Members include patients, family members, and hospital staff.

Is being a patient and family advisor right for you?

Being a patient and family advisor may be a good match with your skills and experiences if you can:

  • Speak up and share suggestions and potential solutions to help improve hospital care for others
  • Talk about your experiences as a patient or family member  –  but also think beyond your own personal experiences
  • Talk about both positive and negative care experiences and share your thoughts on what went well and how things could have been done differently
  • Work with people who may be different than you
  • Listen to and think about what others say, even when you disagree
  • Bring a positive attitude to discussions
  • Keep any information you may hear as an advisor private and confidential

 For more information about being a patient and family advisor:

To get more information about becoming an advisor at The Ottawa Hospital to find out how to apply:

Call:
Department of Patient Advocacy
613-798-5555 x13377

E-mail:
patientadvocacy@toh.ca

Join us! Together we can work to make our hospital the best it can be!

Adapted with permission from:

Agency-for-Healthcare-Research-and-Quality-logo_