SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Being a patient and family adviser has allowed Karen MacLean to help shape how health-care policy is delivered on Prince Edward Island.
MacLean, who is from Summerside, is one of 38 Islanders currently volunteering as patient and family advisers on several quality teams and provincial steering committees. Health P.E.I. is seeking another 15 to 20 Islanders to serve on teams and committees that still need an adviser.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 1. Each applicant should have had recent interaction with health-care services (ideally within the past three to five years) as an inpatient, outpatient or family member or loved one of a patient.
“Being part of a committee gives me an opportunity to share my experience and be involved in decisions from the beginning,” MacLean said. “I’ve felt like an equal and welcomed member of the team, with everyone taking the time to explain how the health care system works so that I can better understand and offer insightful feedback.
“As an adviser, I’ve also had the opportunity to see things from another perspective and have learned that if you want things to happen, you need to get involved.”
Incorporating the advisers’ perspectives helps to improve the patient- and family-centred approach to delivering health-care services, as well as enrich patient and family experiences, said Janet Hodder, Health P.E.I. director of Quality and Patient Safety.
“We are looking for people to be open, honest and committed to providing meaningful and thoughtful input to help shape health programs and services across our province.”
Patient and family advisers engage in the health-care decision-making process, providing unique perspectives on initiatives, programs and services at every stage from development through to evaluation. They also support quality improvement teams in their efforts to improve patient safety, access and patient experience.
“Prince Edward Island’s health-care system belongs to all Islanders and it is important that we take the opportunity to listen to patients and their families as they offer incredible insight as to how we can make our health-care system better for everyone,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson.
“Through patient and family adviser opportunities such as these, we are ensuring that we are engaging Islanders as partners in care, involving them in the decisions being made about how health care is delivered in our province.”