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University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
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From Bob Bell and Joy Richards
After eight years of focus and concentrated effort, Patient-Centred Care (PCC) at UHN has become more than a trendy phrase and more than a seemingly simple concept that we talk about in all venues. PCC is now part of our history, our culture, and remains a focus of our future at UHN. PCC is our guiding philosophy and foundation for care, customer service and leadership. PCC underpins how we do business throughout UHN, from the unit level and service departments to the boardroom. PCC is everybody's business.
The efforts that we have collectively made provide us with a firm foundation for the evolution of PCC. For example, our patients have told us our language needs to shift slightly to enlarge our thinking and they've also told us that the word "patient" is a label that limits. We are now thinking of PCC as Person-Centred Care, which expands the circle of care so that we involve families and others. It also means caring for ourselves and one another. From a corporate perspective, it means providing the support and the right environment for PCC to live and thrive. It means that it's everyone's business to promote the values of PCC with patients and families, as well as each other.
As this journey unfolds, we begin to explore what patient engagement means when we approach our patients and families as partners in their care. Patients & Families as Partners does NOT replace all our good work to date, nor is it the 'new PCC'. Thinking about our patients as partners is simply one more way to push our thinking, actions, and commitment to our patients and families to the next level. As we continue to explore new and exciting ways of enriching patients and families experiences within and beyond our UHN walls, their voices are guiding us. As we embrace the concept that the best care and service comes from a true and respectful partnership, we need to think about new ways of raising the bar and exploring new frontiers: engaging patients and families in PCC teaching/learning, inviting patients and families to sit on essential committees and projects, and developing patient portals for access to their test results and other medical information. Our researchers are already ahead of the curve, inviting patients and families to participate as co-investigators on research teams. In addition, because PCC is everyone's business, we now see PCC living and embedded within professions and in our interprofessional approach to care.
PCC is alive and well at UHN. The senior management team and our Board are deeply committed to this work and living its values. In the coming months, you will be hearing more about new PCC work engaging intact interprofessional and service teams. We are also learning that integration of the Arts with PCC education can help us make deeper connections with patients and families. As an example: through our Patient and Families as Partners initiative, the first-ever patient-led play entitled Norm Vs. Cancer has been viewed by numerous staff across the organization, followed by facilitated discussion between staff, the patient and PCC facilitators to encourage dialogue and new learning. We are also focusing on collaboration with others outside of UHN, including our Academic partners, and of course looking forward to learning from Toronto Rehab's experience as they join our UHN family. All of these connections create new synergies and energy to invigorate and enrich our work.
PCC is an evolution and a continuous commitment to our values and the care we provide to our patients and families and we invite you to share your own PCC story as we move forward. The PCC link has been provided below.
Bob and Joy