Patient & Family Centred Care & LEAN

At Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of BC we believe that the patient and family-centered care approach means the inclusion of patients and family members in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation, and healthcare facility design. When the Provincial Health Services Authority launched the imPROVE program at the facility in 2008, it was welcomed because of the recognition that Lean methodology empowers medical and non-medical employees to redesign their work processes, reduce waste and improve patient safety, quality and outcomes. A unique relationship developed between the BC Children’s Hospital Partners in Care Family Advisory and imPROVE to ensure that healthcare providers do not end up viewing the patient and family as the “unit of intervention”, doing things “to” and “for” them (known as family-focused care) but instead “with” them as equal partners included in the process (patient & family centred care).

Starting in 2009, through the Partners in Care Patient & Family Advisory program, patients and families began working collaboratively with staff and the “family voice” has been become embedded in value stream mapping, RPIW’s and shorter Kaizen events. The program recruits and provides patients or parents to participate as equal members of the team in events.

Patient and family involvement was also integral as the organization moved forward in 2012 using Integrated Facility Design (IFD) for the planning of the new tertiary care hospital.   The Partners in Care Family Liaison, herself a parent, mentored and supported  nine other experienced senior parent advisers to be equal partners with staff during participation in the week- long IFD planning events. Less experienced family and patient advisors participated in world cafe meetings arranged by Partners in Care, patient room mock-ups as well as tours of the full-size cardboard models of each floor of the planned building-the information gleaned from these events was brought to the IFD events by the Partners in Care Family Liaison and the other parent advisers.  The broader consumer perspective was also captured live-time during events through quick, rapid feedback gathered through our Partners in Pajama’s program which used email surveys and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and text polling.

The partnership between these two programs show that harmony between Lean methodology and Patient and Family Centred Care principles can not only be achieved, but bring about a patient and family centred facility design and bring to the healthcare providers involved, a richness and a deeper level of connection to the patients and families they care for.


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