Celebrating Patient Experience Week at LHSC


Kirk Patterson, Patient and Family Advisor and Alicia Cooper, Patient Relations Specialist welcoming staff, patients and families as they arrive at LHSC.

April 23, 2019

Patient Experience Week (April 23-27) is an opportunity to recognize and thank staff, physicians, patients and families for their dedication to improving patient experience at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

Within one year, the patient experience team at LHSC has grown the pool of patient and family advisors by over 200 per cent. Their work has garnered international attention. Two members of LHSC’s Patient Experience team, Alicia Cooper, Patient Relations Specialist and Mary Beth Billick, Patient Experience Specialist, had the opportunity to present their work in Dallas, Texas at the Beryl Institute’s Patient Experience Conference 2019.

Over the past few years, the Patient Experience team has been working to create a cultural shift at LHSC and is now starting to see the results. They are accomplishing this through strategic planning, engagement and education with key stakeholders. By engaging with staff through education and storytelling, the patient experience department has been able to expand the knowledge of the role of patient family advisors throughout the organization. Last year, more than three quarters of the new Patient Family Advisors were recruited by staff.

Patient Family Advisors are people who have had an experience with LHSC in the past three years either as a patient or a family member. These are people who want to help improve health care experiences. They are involved in many different aspects of the organization from participating on committees to partnering with staff and physicians on special projects.

Other strategic steps taken by the patient experience team include identifying and supporting best practices for patient experience and gathering patient experience data analytics. Using the data gathered and engaging in knowledge translation has enabled them to better assist and develop the programs related to the Patient Family Advisor roles.

The Patient Experience team was actively involved in the development of  LHSC’s new vision, mission and values with the primary value being “Patients are at the centre of everything we do;” and the release of the Patient Declaration of Values. These organizational steps have reaffirmed LHSC’s commitment to patients and their families. The changes are well timed as the Accreditation Canada has started incorporating patient and family engagement into its metrics.

Additional achievements of Patient Experience in 2018-2019:

  • increase in Patient Family Advisors by 200 per cent to over 200;
  • increase in operational inclusion of patient advisors throughout a wider variety of programs at LHSC;
  • creation of the Patient Experience Advisory Council which oversees patient experience and patient and family engagement at LHSC, has senior leadership participate as non-voting members, including the President & CEO; and;
  • inclusion of a Patient Family Advisor on the Quality and Performance and Monitoring Committee that reports to the Board of Directors.

Patient Family Advisors now have a direct line to speaking with senior leadership, ensuring patients voices are heard and included at every level at LHSC.

For more information on becoming a Patient Family Advisor please contact the Patient Experience Office by phone at 519-685-8500 ext 75457 or email at patientexperience@lhsc.ca.