The South East Toronto Family Health Team (SETFHT) is an academic Family Health Team (FHT) comprised of inter-professional health care workers that provide a full range of primary health care services and programs.
SETFHT is committed to its vision of being ‘a leading academic family health team that improves the health of our community’.
In 2013, SETFHT introduced its Patient Advisory Council (PAC), a patient-led group helping to shape the organization’s patient care delivery, and a first among FHTs. Helping to ensure families and patients are engaged in all aspects of their health care, PAC’s members report directly to the Board of Directors and provide feedback on the delivery of programs, the content of patient materials and the direction of SETFHT’s objectives. This feedback has already led to significant organizational changes that are impacting the patient experience for the better, including an improved telephone appointment process and the addition of more processes by which patients can communicate with the members of their health care team.
SETFHT was also the first site in Ontario to implement a primary care Virtual Ward – a feat championed by Lead Physician, Dr. Tia Pham. The Virtual Ward initiative builds on the systems, staffing and daily routine of a hospital ward to provide case management to patients in the community beyond hospital walls. Interventions include daily phone calls to provide medical management in consultation with a family physician, and the coordination of additional health care services as required within the SETFHT team and to community supports. Dr. Pham also led the charge to re-introduce home visits for patients with cognitive and physical barriers, epitomizing her personal mantra of “nothing about us without us” through her continued commitment to improving health care services for all patients. Both she and SETFHT deserve recognition for blazing new ground in patient engagement in primary care.