The Vancouver Island Health Authority is hearing voices. And that’s a good thing, according to Caryl Harper, the manager of primary health care.
In her presentation to the Mount Waddington Health Network meeting in Sointula Mar. 30, Harper said VIHA is working hard to move their model of service delivery towards a patient-centred model.
To that end VIHA through Harper and her colleagues, have been listening, mapping, and engaging patients to learn more about the patient experience.
One innovative approach Harper spoke about is the Patient Voices Network, an initiative of Impact BC supported by the BC Ministry of Health Services’ Patient as Partners Initiative.The Patient Voices Network, PVN, is like an association that patients join to become involved in shaping health care in British Columbia.
Almost everyone has been a patient at one time in their life, said Harper. That experience qualifies each person to belong to the PVN. The person can choose a passive or an active role within the group.
The passive role patients sign up to the registry and receive polls and surveys, participate in eLearning, and receive news and information on health issues and changes.
The active role patients, called the Activated Network, engage in peer-to-peer coaching, engage in activities designed to shape the system, and take a more active role in their own community’s health system.
There are four ways to get involved with the PVN.
1. Join the PVN Registry. Sign up to receive information on health care issues and participate in health surveys and polls.
2. Become a peer coach. Train to become part of a team of BC-wide peer coaches and help others in your community make healthy living changes. (e.g. increase physical activity, make healthier eating choices, reduce or stop smoking).
3. Get activated in the community. Help identify health care issues in your community and work with health care professionals to find local solutions.
4. Shape the system. Help shape primary health care by becoming actively involved in the system. (e.g. participate in focus groups, sit on patient advisory committees and attend conferences).
In addition to the PVN, Harper and her colleagues also gather feedback on patient experiences through programs called Mapping the Patient’s Journey and IAP2. All her programs are focused toward moving the patient, the family, and the community to the centre of the health decision-making model.
“Patients are supported and encouraged to participate in their own health care. My area is patient focused, and encourages patient participation and collaboration,” said Harper.
More information is available at www.patientvoices.ca or 1-888-742-1772 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caryl Harper can be contacted through VIHA at 1-250-744-7010 or Caryl.Harper@viha.ca.