Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is looking for former patients or family members of former patients’ input on the care they received. 

Three people will be selected to join MAHC’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC). “The goal is to ensure we’re embedding the patient voice throughout our organization,” CEO Natalie Bubela says. 

The committee has been in place since 2017 and she explains its members give advice and recommendations on new programs the hospital is thinking about offering, renovations that are being planned and have even critiqued brochures and instruction sheets given out by hospital staff. “They have been a vital and important part of our organization,” Bubela says of the committee.

“The provider’s way of thinking isn’t necessarily the same as the person getting the care,” she adds on the importance of listening to patients. 

Bubela points out that this committee isn’t just about the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s related to any kind of feedback that people want to share with us to improve care,” she says. The feedback could be about the novel coronavirus, but it could date back a few years to when someone was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Bubela says she hopes to get an “array” of experiences from applicants. 

When feedback is needed by hospital staff, it would be brought to the attention of the committee. “There would be a very specific item we’re asking for feedback about,” Bubela explains. She says it could be about a visitation policy change or a new program that’s being worked on. “When it comes to other areas in the hospital, it wouldn’t be that all members of the PFAC would necessarily be providing feedback on it,” she explains. “It may be that we’re tailoring that type of feedback to the individual patient experience partner and the area we’re wanting feedback on.”

For example, Bubela says they were doing a simulation of an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) – which is a very serious type of heart attack – procedure recently. A PFAC member was the simulated patient. “Her role was to provide feedback to the team – that included the paramedics and hospital staff – on where she thinks some improvements could be made,” Bubela says.

If you’re interested in applying to join the Patient and Family Advisory Committee, go to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s website.