Photo (left to right): SHN’s Patient Relations Team – Janice Fletcher-Broomes, Anthony Sacco, and Susan Lorimer

From nurses and physicians, support staff and executive professionals, to patients, family and the Scarborough community, so many people are working hard to make each patient’s experience the best it can be.

In celebration of Patient Experience Week (April 25-29), we are sharing what the Patient Experience means to some across our health network. Here is what our Patient Relations team had to say.

Janice Fletcher-Broomes, Patient Relations Facilitator: As a patient relations facilitator at SHN, patient experience means being committed to equity, inclusion and lifting the patients voices to effect changes for the betterment of healthcare and transforming the patients’ experiences. I do this with a focus on sharing, seeking and utilizing opportunities for improvement, healing and building trust.

Susan Lorimer, Patient Relations Facilitator: Patient Experience means engaging with people in a meaningful way and establishing a human connection. Being present in our interactions. Listening with compassion to a person’s story and journey. Demonstrating an authentic and genuine desire to help and offering support therefore fostering a positive impact on a person’s health care experience and wellness. The American poet, Maya Angelou truly captures the essence of the patient experience for me in her quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you make them feel.”

Anthony Sacco, Patient Relations Facilitator: Patient experience means taking account of the holistic needs of the patient, including: physical, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and mental/emotional needs. It is about listening to patients’ stories. What are their concerns? What are their goals? What is most important to them right now? Friendly communication, patience, professionalism, and acts of kindness from all staff working in hospital are key factors for a positive outcome in patient experience.

The patient experience is a key focus for staff in roles across our network. Here is what others from SHN shared on the topic.

Dr. Jeffrey Ho: Patient experience means being treated how you or your loved one would want to be treated if you or your loved one were in hospital.

Daniel Maullon, Manager 3MBW: Patient experiences are the short moments we have with patients that they will remember forever.

Junie Alleyne, Clinical Practice Leader: Throughout my career as a nurse, I had the opportunity to work in a plethora of different areas within the hospital setting and outside of the hospital setting. Throughout every patience experience several things come to mind. I learned that communication, listening and caring were the foundational building blocks and important core principles with every patient interaction. A solid patient experience is based on Respect, shared experiences, trust, reciprocity and mutual enjoyment.

Feliks Hysi, Patient Care Manager-Multi-Care Kidney Clinic, Home Dialysis, Diabetes and Family Medicine Teaching Unit: Patient experience is an important part of delivering quality care as it captures the different interactions that patients have within our organization. Often, patient experience and patient satisfaction are often used interchangeably even though there are differences between these two terms. Patient satisfaction is subjective and focuses on a patient’s expectations during an encounter and whether those expectations were met. It can also be objective by focusing on what happened during a care encounter, reducing risk, and sparking quality improvement.

Dave Newman, Environmental Services Representative: As SHN employees, regardless of our roles, we all have a responsibility to ensure that our patients know we care about their well being and that we want their hospital experience to be as positive as possible. In my role as a custodian I endeavour to make sure that the hospital environment is as clean and as sanitary as possible for our patients. While performing my duties I’m convinced that something as simple as a greeting and a smile from behind my mask is enough to make a positive impression on our patients.

Ricardo Matthews, Environmental Services Representative: It’s important because treating patients with respect, kindness well is the right thing to do. It’s important because a positive patient experience is related to better health outcomes (including lower readmission rates). Also making ease of access convenient and easy.

We are all a part of the patient experience! Thank you to our entire SHN community, for your courage, compassion, and leadership. We are incredibly grateful for your support, engagement, and on-going investment in shaping a kinder, more compassionate, person-centred health system.

Another group that plays a vital role in Patient Experience are SHN’s Patient Family Advisors (PFAs) – individuals with lived experience at SHN. Together with the Patient Family Advisory Council, PFAs provide valuable insight on policies, space, language, and accessibility from the patient point-of-view to staff and physicians in order to improve the patient experience and help ensure patients are at the centre of everything we do. Click here to hear from two of SHN’s PFAs on their incredible commitment to patient-centred care.