Although geared towards a common goal – improved patient-centred care – quality improvement strategies and patient engagement-focused approaches are often developed and conducted in silos. The lack of integration may lead, on the one hand, to the uptake of patient suggestions that do not always take into consideration implications for the delivery of quality care and, on the other hand, to inadequate understanding of patient views required to create optimal services.
The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)'s action plans to address gaps in patient engagement and quality improvement, two of its priority areas, were initially carried out in isolation of each other. While implementing a key patient engagement initiative using an experience-based co-design approach, Lean process improvement tools were used to plan and implement projects to improve patient, family and staff experiences of care.
Preliminary assessments of this project revealed that the integration of these two approaches is feasible and that it was well received by both staff and families. There is important synergy to be found between patient engagement and quality improvement that needs to be leveraged by organizational structures and processes to fulfill the commitments inherent in both fields.
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