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Engaging Patients

Get Started as a Patient or Family Advisor

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Learn Important Health Care Acronyms (Short-Forms) and Their Meanings

The Ontario health system can be hard to understand and get around in. As a patient or caregiver advisor, it is okay to have a hard time understanding the many acronyms you will come across. Use this list of health care acronyms and their meanings to help you get around in, and engage with, the Ontario health system.

Download a list of common health care acronyms (short-forms) and their meanings

Source: Health Quality Ontario


Getting Involved in Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement is the process that health organizations use to improve how they plan and give care to patients and their caregivers. Use this short decision-making-tool to know when, why and how you can get involved in Quality Improvement projects.

Learn more about Quality Improvement and how to get involved

Source: Health Quality Ontario


Creating and Sustaining Patient and Family Advisory Councils – Choosing Meaningful Projects

Read this guide to learn how to determine and prioritize projects or areas of focus for patient and family advisory councils. Use the guide’s examples, templates and other resources to support your practice.

Learn how to determine and prioritize projects

Source: Health Quality Ontario


Creating and Sustaining Patient and Family Advisory Councils – Creating an Effective Terms of Reference

Read this guide to learn how to create an effective terms of reference that outlines how the council agrees to work together to accomplish common goals. Use the guide’s templates and tools to support your practice.

Learn how to create an effective terms of reference

Source: Health Quality Ontario


Supporting Your Home’s Residents’ Council: A Resource Guide for Residents’ Council Leadership and Staff Assistants

Gain a sense of the theory and history of Residents’ Councils in long-term care homes – where residents receive care, and it is also their home – and learn how to make the Residents’ Council most effective

Read a resource guide for residents' council leadership and staff assistants

Source: Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils


Storytelling Resources

Sharing your personal story as a patient or caregiver can be tough. Use this collection of storytelling tips and toolkits to share your health journey in a way that is memorable and meaningful for audiences.

Learn how to share your story as an advisor

Source: “Sharing Your Story: Tips for Patients and Families” from the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care

Use these tools and templates to guide you in sharing your story

Source: "Regional Storytelling Toolkit” from Cancer Care Ontario

Use these key tips and practices to share your story with impact

Source: “Patient Mentor’s Guide to Storytelling” from University of Alberta’s Health Sciences Council

Watch video of the session now

Source: Source: “Patient and Family Advisors: Learning from the Patient and Family Advisor Experience” from Health Quality Ontario, Health Quality Transformation 2015 (Conference)


Sharing Your Personal Health Story: A Template

Sharing your personal health story is a great way to provide feedback on the health system and help to improve it. Fill in this question-and-answer template to build your own personal health story, and to know what order and format to share details in. The template is meant for cancer care, but can be used in other settings.

Download the storytelling template

Source: Cancer Care Ontario


Key Steps and Methods for Engagement

Patients, caregivers and health care staff worked together to create this helpful resource. Read this resource to learn the steps, tips and practices needed to do engagement well.

Learn about different tips and methods for engagement

Source: The Change Foundation


Prepare to Join Health Care Committees

Committees are a common method for patient and caregiver engagement. This handbook describes the role of committees, why you should get involved and key ways you can prepare.

Learn more about serving on health care committees

Source: Vancouver Coastal Health


Start and Sustain a Family Council

Learn how to create and sustain a family council in the long-term care sector, using sample documents that can be adapted for specific use in different organizations.

Learn how to start and sustain a family council

Source: Family Councils Ontario


A Pocket Guide for Families

Learn important tips on how to partner with health care staff to plan and deliver quality care for your loved one.

Learn how to engage with the health system to support your loved one

Source: Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.


Claude Lurette and Kowsiya Vijayartnam, Health Quality Ontario Patient, Family and Caregiver Advisors Council Co-Chairs

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