Panel Discusses How to Improve the Patient and Client Experience

At the 2nd Annual Quality Symposium, many were inspired by Dr. Lynne Maher’s presentation on Putting Patients at the Centre of Their Care. Also called Experience Based Design, the concept sees patients, clients and residents having more of a say in how they want their care delivered. The topic was revisited at the 3rd Annual Quality Symposium, this time as a panel discussion moderated by Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda on TVO.

Panelists included Paul Collins, CEO of St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, Sue McCutcheon, Access to Care Lead, Mary Ellen Gustafson, London resident and community support service agency client, and Freda Fragassi, a Strathroy resident who is the primary caregiver for her husband, Nick. The panel kicked off with a video depicting the challenges of navigating the health system from way finding to privacy to safety to information and intended  to stimulate  thinking  around ways to improve the patient/client experience.

panel photo

Mrs. Fragassi shared her perspective as a caregiver for the past 5 years to her husband who suffers from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare brain disorder, while Mrs. Gustafson relayed her experience with health services as someone struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. Both women agreed that they have had far more positive experiences than negative ones in their health care journeys and that while health care providers do listen to patients/clients and try to take the time to really understand the patient’s medical history and situation is important to providing the right care. Sue McCutcheon emphasized the importance of health care providers listening to patients/clients in order to find opportunities to improve transitions between health services. Paul Collins also stressed the importance of listening and said that he makes regular rounds with patients to get their perspectives and to learn directly the impact of the health care and staffing models.

Mr. Paikin demonstrated his skill as a moderator by drawing out many valuable insights from the panel. In particular, the panel discussed the need for patient advocacy in navigating the health system; people advocating for themselves, caregivers advocating on behalf of others and when these options aren’t possible, a health professional champion asking the right questions and spending the time to determine needs. It is important for the health system to facilitate these advocacy relationships.


Click here to see more videos from the Quality Symposium