Engagement update

February 13, 2012

Emerging themes from regional consultations with seniors and caregivers on navigating across Ontario’s health system.

“The problem is that no one seems to understand the system. There’s no system map to explain how it works to caregivers or people using it for the first time. You get the sense that without this map, you have no idea how it works. People explained parts of the system but not the overall system.”
– Peterborough participant, The Change Foundation engagement with seniors & caregivers, Nov., 2011

Since November 2011, The Change Foundation has been on the road or online learning from the experiences of seniors with chronic health conditions and their informal caregivers. We heard how they manage – or don’t – to navigate across our healthcare system, particularly at key transition points. This targeted multi-phased public engagement is integral to making good on our promise to make patients and caregivers part of healthcare discussions as outlined in our 2010-13 Strategic Plan (with related work from this mandate extending to 2014). The goal is to get a better understanding of the quality of their healthcare experiences, and how to improve transitions when moving from one healthcare setting to another.

The experiences and expertise of participants in this first phase of public consultations will be compared to input from seniors and caregivers elicited in a second round in 2014. This public input will complement input from consultations with Ontario health system leaders. Later, input from both stakeholder groups will help add wider provincial context to inform The Foundation’s PATH community redesign project.

So where have we been? Since our last dispatch, we’ve completed five face-to-face sessions with 116 seniors and their family and friends in both rural and urban settings across Ontario, including: Timmins, Dryden, Peterborough, London and Toronto. In earlier consultations in Ottawa and on a cross-province webinar, and more recently through a special microsite, called Share Your Story, we gave seniors and caregivers an opportunity to weigh in on their experiences and ideas on how to improve them. Seniors offered lots of insights and suggestions and appreciated the chance to share their stories and learn about the healthcare system and from others facing similar challenges.

Read a quick preview of Emerging Themes & Stories from this phase of public consultations and stay tuned for a final report this March.

The Change Foundation     Toronto, ON     Public inquiries: asunnak@changefoundation.com