Patients ViewThe goals of Patient’s View are to identify quality and safety issues through the eyes of patients and families – often problems that the care team may be unaware of – and to use the information to inform improvement initiatives. BC Children’s Hospital led the way with a pilot of Patient’s View in 2012 and now this successful initiative has spread to BC Women’s Hospital (BCW) and Vancouver Cancer Centre (VCC) through collaboration with the Langara College nursing program.

The original model for Patient’s View developed at BC Children’s deploys specially-selected and trained volunteers to interview patients and families at the bedside and collect their observations about the quality and safety of care during their stay. Debbie Johannesen, Director of Quality, Safety and Accreditation at BCW, Tracy Lust, Quality, Safety and Accreditation Leader at VCC and Yvonne Law, Quality, Safety and Accreditation Leader at BCW say that expanding on the original approach by inviting nursing students to participate in Patient’s View has been an excellent way for their organizations to launch the initiative.

“We reached out to Langara last November to see if they would be interested and we’re so pleased they were,” says Tracy. “It’s been a wonderful partnership ever since. The students have been remarkable and their enthusiasm and support for Patient’s View meant a lot to us and our patients.”

These Langara College nursing students took part in Patient's View as part of their Term 8 practice course (left to right: William Siy, Rebecca Lin, Meaghan Monroe and Junafe Tongawan)

Four Langara College nursing students took part in Patient’s View at BC Women’s Hospital and Vancouver Cancer Centre (left to right: William Siy, Rebecca Lin, Meaghan Monroe and Junafe Tongawan)

The Term 8 practice course in Langara’s nursing program brings fourth-year students and agencies together to work on a particular project. Veryl Tipliski, Langara Term 8 Coordinator, says Patient’s View was the perfect fit and four students jumped at the opportunity to participate, recognizing that Patient’s View would help build their confidence when speaking with patients and families and broaden their understanding of patient safety in a real-life health care setting.

Patient’s View allowed the students to expand their knowledge base around continuous quality improvement and the patient-family experience, which is something they didn’t have an understanding of before,” says Veryl. “They’re also using patient safety terminology now. After this experience I believe the students will be more empathetic nurses.”

At BCW, two students worked side-by-side and met with new parents just prior to discharge. For Meaghan Monroe and Junafe Tongawan, Patient’s View taught them that patients and families are a valuable resource when it comes to understanding and improving quality and safety.

This Patient's View poster at BC Women's let staff and families know that two nursing students would be in the area.

Sample Patient’s View poster.

“We learned that patients tend to see safety differently than staff do,” says Meaghan, who is completing her preceptorship at Burnaby Hospital. “Patients noticed when staff did simple things for them, they appreciated that, and they also liked it when staff was personable. Patients associated these things with safe care.” 

“And Patient’s View taught us that it’s really important to partner with patients,” says Junafe, who is completing her preceptorship at Richmond Hospital. “This experience helped us to understand what it’s like from the patient’s perspective and that we need to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Ultimately, that will lead to safer and better care.”

At VCC, William Siy and Rebecca Lin conducted their interviews individually and met with patients who were at the clinic for cancer treatment. They believe Patient’s View helps to build trust and rapport with patients.

“Sometimes our conversations with patients were quite informal, which was nice,” says William. “The entire Patient’s View experience was extremely worthwhile and I will always keep this with me as I move forward in my nursing career.” William is completing his preceptorship at Vancouver General Hospital.

“We also found that patients were open about their care experience even though some were quite sick and receiving cancer treatment,” says Rebecca, who is also completing her preceptorship at Vancouver General Hospital. “Patients were usually positive and wanted to talk with us about patient safety and the quality of their care. Patient’s View has helped me to be more confident when speaking with patients.”

Both BCW and VCC are using the information collected through Patient’s View to identify opportunities where quality and patient safety could be improved. Future plans are to rollout Patient’s View to BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS).

Key takeaways:

1. Engage with patients. Ask them about their experience and if they have any safety concerns.

2. Keep in mind that most feedback from patients and families is positive.

3. Problems with communication are most common. How can your team communicate more effectively?

4. Patient’s View volunteers should wear special lanyards or other identifiers and/or carry identification with them.

To learn more about Patient’s View, please contact:

Debbie Johannesen
Project Lead for Patient’s View at BC Women’s Hospital (BCW)

Yvonne Law
Quality & Safety Leader at BC Women’s Hospital (BCW)

Tracy Lust
Project Lead for Patient’s View at Vancouver Cancer Centre (VCC)

Debbie Johannesen, Tracy Lust and Yvonne Law would like to thank Langara College for its commitment and support of Patient’s View. They look forward to working together again!

Additional resources:

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