New Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement collaborative engages Canadian patients and families

Funding supports healthcare organizations in their efforts to improve patient care
OTTAWA, Ontario April 2, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement today announced an initiative to help Canadian healthcare organizations make care more patient- and family-centred, coordinated, safe and efficient. Partnering with Patients and Families for Quality Improvement is a 17-month collaborative open to healthcare organizations committed to engaging patients and families in designing, delivering and evaluating healthcare services with the goal of better patient care and outcomes.
"Meaningfully engaging patients and families holds the promise of improving healthcare for all Canadians," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health. "That's why our Government is pleased to support this drive to gather patient ideas and use them to make healthcare better."
The CFHI collaborative will provide funding, coaching and other support to help Canadian healthcare organizations build capacity and drive quality improvement by partnering with patients and families.  From 2010 to 2013, CFHI's support of 17 healthcare organizations resulted in improvements to patient-provider communications, patient experience and other quality domains, including:
  • An 8 percent increase in direct time in care and 20 percent improved ratings of patient experience of care at Montreal'sMcGill University Health Centre;
  • A 60 percent plunge in medication transcription errors at MUHC; and
  • Time for blood analysis for chemotherapy patients at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance dropped to 15 to 20 minutes from 2 to 3 hours.
"CFHI's previous patient engagement work has generated improvements in areas such as wait times, medication safety, work environments and patient experience," said CFHI President Maureen O'Neil. "Partnering with Patients and Families for Quality Improvement is a collaborative to help organizations across Canada achieve similar success."
"Our project transformed care at the bedside and created a deep culture shift, with staff and patients creating and championing change together," said Patricia O'Connor, Director of Nursing at MUHC and a core faculty member of the new collaborative. "I look forward to helping other Canadian teams create new partnerships and improvements in their facilities."
CFHI will provide funding of up to $50,000 each as well as other supports to a maximum of 15 participating teams. The application deadline is May 29, 2014. Click here for more information on timelines and criteria for eligibility.
The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating healthcare improvement by working with provinces, territories and other healthcare partners to promote efficient healthcare that delivers better outcomes. With a $10 million annual federal investment, CFHI supports the development of innovations that could save provincial-territorial healthcare budgets over $1 billion per year. CFHI is funded through an agreement with the Government of Canada.
Partnering with Patients and Families for Quality Improvement
Partnering with Patients and Families for Quality Improvement is a pan-Canadian collaborative that will bring together Canadian healthcare organizations to harness the tremendous potential of patient and family engagement to drive quality improvement in healthcare. Collaboratives are programs that bring organizations together to create sustainable change in a specific topic area. The goal of this collaborative is to help healthcare organizations deliver care that is more patient-and-family-centred, coordinated, safe and efficient.
Evidence is mounting that patient and family engagement is essential for safe and high quality care. Engaging patients and families in improving healthcare means creating effective partnerships at every level between those who provide care and those who receive it. These partnerships can yield many benefits, including improved health outcomes for patients and safer and more productive work environments for healthcare professionals.
CFHI's support to 17 organizations, through the Patient Engagement Project (PEP) initiative (2010-2013), demonstrated the improvements that come when management, providers and patients work together towards better care, systems and outcomes. Effective partnership between patients, providers and management is the most promising way of meeting the challenges of an aging population, an explosion of chronic disease and limited budgets. The PEP initiative resulted in improvements to patient-provider communications, the patient experience and other quality domains, including efficiency.
The collaborative is open to healthcare organizations and ministries. Organizations include, but may not be limited to: healthcare service delivery organizations; regional health authorities and Local Health Integration Networks; government organizations and agencies; primary care office practices or physician groups; and community organizations (such as a Community Care Access Centre in Ontario).
CFHI will provide funding of up to $50,000 each to a maximum of 15 Canadian teams for direct costs related to participation in the collaborative.  CFHI will also provide quality improvement expertise through faculty, coaches and leading experts to support participating teams.