The Change Foundation launches the Panorama panel.

A panel of Ontario residents exchanging views
experiences and advice to improve healthcare

"I got involved because a patient doesn't get asked very often, what was your experience as it's all very clinical... and you often don't have an opportunity to have a voice." - Panorama panelist

TORONTO - OCTOBER 17, 2012 - First-hand experience of a new healthcare advisory panel embeds patient perspectives & input.

Thirty-two citizens with nothing – and everything – in common have come together in a new engagement panel called PANORAMA to help an independent health policy think tank improve the patient and caregiver experience in Ontario.

PANORAMA: A panel of Ontario residents exchanging views, experiences and advice to improve healthcare is the creation of The Change Foundation, which launched the unique advisory body the last weekend of September in Toronto. Meet some of the members of PANORAMA in this introductory composite video as they share their hopes and healthcare stories. Learn more about them in this panel profile.

The panelists come from all parts of the province, all sizes of communities, and all walks of life; they range in age from 24 to 83, and reflect a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. But all 32 share one thing: they all have long-term health conditions or care for someone who does, and they have extensive experience navigating the bits and pieces of Ontario’s healthcare system. And they’re all volunteering their time and energy to help The Change Foundation drive home the importance of improving the patient and caregiver experience – and in the process, the quality of their lives and of the healthcare system.

“The panel is a way for The Change Foundation to learn how people are experiencing the system on a very regular basis, and then taking a step back to relate that information to recommendations for system improvement,” says Cathy Fooks (video), CEO of The Change Foundation.

The panelists, recruited through a mix of techniques aimed at finding a diversity of perspectives and life experiences, have committed to meet for two-and-a-half years, both in person and online. They will provide The Change Foundation with ongoing input and advice, reflecting the lived daily realities of a growing proportion of Ontario’s population.

“Healthcare is a ping pong game with the patient as the ball,” one panelist observed. “Most practitioners are caring, but need to listen better,” said another. “Quality of care should not depend on where you live,” one member said after one presenter showed cross-province comparisons. “If it wasn’t for my wife’s support, I would have said forget it…and I would have ended up back in the hospital,” said another young man grateful to his caregiver.

The panel went to work right away spending an intense weekend of learning, listening, probing.

The panel is part of the Foundation’s public engagement work, which complements its policy analysis, research, and its patient-provider healthcare redesign project called PATH (Partners Advancing Transitions in Healthcare). In addition, the panelists will be asked to draw on their experiences to consider larger questions in healthcare.