A Conversation with patient advisor Diane McKenzie and Chief of Communications and Patient Partnering, Jennifer Schipper
Diane McKenzie: Patient partnering means building deeper, long-term relationships with health care professionals that lead to improved health care quality. This work is about challenges that need to be overcome. By working through those challenges – together – patients and organizations can make dramatic changes. It’s not easy. But together we are better when we are done.
Jennifer Schipper: When I first started at Health Quality Ontario more than four years ago, I was keen to “engage” patients and find out how we could work together.
One of my first meetings was with the founding president of Patient’s Canada, Sholom Glouberman, who told me: “Jennifer, patients don’t want to be engaged when it comes to health care improvement, they want to be married.”
Sholom’s phrase and sentiment has stayed with me ever since and has helped guide how Health Quality Ontario is working to help patients, health care professionals and organizations truly partner to effectively improve the quality of health care.
The speed at which this is occurring and the associated changes in language about this trend can be overwhelming to those who are not directly involved. For example, the concept of ‘patient engagement’ which was so dominant so recently, has largely been replaced by the more proactive concept of partnership.