Patients Canada is a patient-led organization that fosters collaboration between patients, family caregivers and the health care community.
Since 2011, the organization has been a trailblazer in bringing forward patient and caregiver stories and experiences to inform changes and improvements in the healthcare system. Their work is focused in four areas: developing patient leaders, facilitating patient partnerships, developing patient experience quality improvement and measurement tools, and developing patients as research partners.
In particular, Patients Canada has led the way in introducing patient-focused Key Performance Targets (KPTs). Working with organizations, Patients Canada develops tailored KPTs to measure and improve the patient experience within each unique healthcare environment. The KPTs allow for a concrete assessment of the system’s movement towards patient- and family-centred care.
Their work on KPTs has been adopted and adapted by a number of health care organizations who are integrating the patient perspective into health care performance assessment, including:
- Accreditation Canada’s introduction of patient centred accreditation;
- Health Quality Ontario’s (HQO) efforts to develop more patient-centred primary care performance indicators;
- The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario’s (AFHTO) initiative to better understand and improve the patient-doctor relationship; and
- The development of the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
Patients Canada’s work and strategic vision has been instrumental in creating a true shift in the health care system. Promoting the need for patients and caregivers to bring their personal experiences to all aspects of health care – including clinical interactions, service redesign, policy development and research – Patients Canada’s work has gone a long way in improving the relationship between patients, family members and health care staff.