Introducing Health Quality Ontario’s Patient, Family and Public Advisors Council
New council gives us opportunities for patients, families and the public to inform our work.
I have often spoken about my commitment to ensuring that the work of HQO is informed by the experience and wisdom of patients, families and the public. We have looked into how others have done this and are starting to live this commitment.
We’ve seen great work in patient engagement taking place through patient and family advisory councils within hospitals, long-term care homes and other organizations. These councils present key opportunities for an organization or system to learn from patients and families.
Now our organization joins the efforts of those councils with the creation of Health Quality Ontario’s Patient, Family and Public Advisors Council. This council offers members an opportunity to provide constructive input and share their perspective on the priorities that should form our focus on quality, and in turn, the focus of quality across the health system at large.
You can learn more about the diverse group of talented individuals who make up Health Quality Ontario’s Patient, Family and Public Advisors Council here.
To create this Council, we put out a call for patients, family members and members of the general public. We received over 160 expressions of interest, from which our council of 16 was formed. The members of Health Quality Ontario’s Patient, Family and Public Advisors Council represent many parts of the province with a wide-range of backgrounds, experiences and interactions within the health system. The council is equally split between men and women, ages 25 to 74. Each member differs greatly from one another, but together they share a passionate commitment to improving our health system through team work and communication.
Over the next year, the Council will meet four times and dive into issues identified through our strategic plan that will influence our work.
But engaging with patients at Health Quality Ontario is not just limited to the Council. We have also put in place a broader Patient, Family and Public Advisors Pool enabling any patients, family members and public volunteers to participate in HQO projects, committees and focus groups. In addition to the work of the volunteers on the Council, the members of our Advisors Pool contribute in a very big way to our goal of fostering a culture that recognizes patient, family and public engagement as core to improving the quality of health care that patients receive.
You can find out more about how to join our pool here. Membership is always open.
Health Quality Ontario’s Advisors Council and Advisors Pool represent part of our ongoing agenda at HQO toward encouraging, enabling and empowering Ontarians to actively participate in the work we do as the provincial advisor on health care quality. I look forward to sharing some of our other engagement work in a future blog.