Announcing the 2020 Patient Experience Award recipients

Posted Jun 3, 2020

The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) has recognized four initiatives in the province that are making a positive impact on Albertans’ experiences accessing and receiving healthcare services.

“This year, as Alberta’s healthcare system focuses on guiding our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic as safely as possible, it is especially important to stop and recognize these healthcare teams who have implemented programs that positively impact their patients’ experiences,” says Dr. Greg Powell, Chair of the HQCA Patient and Family Advisory Committee. “These teams have and continue to deliver truly patient-centred services and care to their patients and their families.”

The Patient Experience Awards were established by the HQCA and its Patient and Family Advisory Committee to recognize and spread knowledge about initiatives that improve the patient’s overall experience in accessing and receiving healthcare services.

This year’s recipients are:

  • The Wetaskiwin Primary Care Network (PCN) Prenatal Program, in collaboration with the University of Alberta and the Cree communities of Maskwacis, established the Elders Mentoring Program. Through the program, several Elders and grandmothers from Maskwacis work alongside staff to provide additional, culturally appropriate supports to Indigenous pregnant women and their partners in their prenatal clinic.
  • The Performance Evaluation and Rhythm Follow-up Optimization through Remote Monitoring (PERFORM) team implemented remote monitoring for patients living with a cardiac implantable electrical device (CIED) more consistently across Alberta. Using remote monitoring, CIEDs can be connected at any time, wherever a cellular or WiFi network exists. This allows patients to be evaluated in their home to a similar extent as in a specialty face to face clinic visit, increasing access to appropriate and acceptable care in the community and without subjecting patients to excessive infectious risks as in the current pandemic.
  • In partnership with Alberta’s critical care community, the Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network (CCSCN) led and facilitated the highly collaborative Provincial Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Delirium Initiative. This initiative team engaged patient and family advisors, operational leaders, and front-line healthcare professionals across Alberta Health Services to design, adapt, and implement leading practices for the prevention and management of ICU-associated delirium into the Alberta context. These efforts resulted in a standardized provincial approach to this aspect of care in both adult and pediatric critical care settings.
  • The Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) uses a completely virtual clinic model to connect a doctor-led, multidisciplinary team with clients referred for opioid agonist therapy (OAT; e.g., methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone). Assessment, treatment, and support are provided via videoconference, telephone, and texting, and are delivered in conjunction with a pharmacist in the local area for OAT medication dispensing.

“Each of these initiatives takes an innovative approach to engaging patients and their loved ones not only as integral members of the care team, but as real partners,” comments Brent Windwick, Chair of the HQCA Board of Directors. “When we empower patients and their families by making care accessible and inclusive, and then provide them with meaningful information and resources to become true partners in their care, it is inspiring what can happen. I commend each of this year’s award recipients for their hard work to ensure the patient is at the centre of both our care and improvement conversations.”

The Award recipients will be profiled in-depth in the future and their stories will be shared here, to spread additional learnings about their programs.