Quality Summit 2017 – Elephant in the Room

Planning for the upcoming Quality Summit 2017 is underway. To this end, members of the Patients 4 Change (Pts4Chg) community were asked to provide their thoughts on what they would like to see at the summit. During a recent Pts4Chg community telephone chat, which focused on the Quality Summit 2017, one of the key ideas raised was the need to talk about the “elephant in the room,” as it relates to partnering with Patient/Family Advisors.

While it is true that these topics may be difficult to raise and cause some angst and discomfort when discussed, by pretending that such issues do not exist and hence failing to address the elephant in the room, genuine collaboration and engagement with advisors is not apt to occur.

Below are some of parts of the elephant the Pts4Chg community identified.

  • Devaluing advisors
  • Fear of including advisors
  • Wasting advisors’ time energy and experience
  • Exploitation versus engagement – When does inclusion become exploitation?
  • Partnership versus Tokenism
  • Ignoring advisors

Click here to read more from the recent Pts4Chg conversation. If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments pertaining the following four areas, you are welcome to reply as a response to this post.

  1. What advisor-related topics would you like to see included at the Summit?
  2. What speakers would you like to have as part of the advisors’ sessions?
  3. What format would you like to see for the advisors sessions? For example, formal presentation, workshops, breakout session, etc.?
  4. Other Comments

7 thoughts on “Quality Summit 2017 – Elephant in the Room

  1. Area 3 and 4:
    No matter the format of the sessions, the physical organization of the room is an important aspect to me. Last year the QS was wonderful, but people tended to gravitate towards colleagues and people they already knew during sessions, lunch, and break-out times. The only way to ensure that people have a chance to see many different perspectives on ideas is to arrange seating in some way that actively mixes up participants.

    Partnership isn’t as innovative as it can be until you make new connections and are able to collaborate with different perspectives; and collaborate because of those perspectives. As an advisor you can’t really make an impact when you are only with other like-minded people: there’s no one to advise! Ideally, people from different zones and occupations (including “advisors” as an umbrella term) will be mixed equally throughout the room. That way there is something learned no matter the content because of the people there.

  2. Over the past several years of experience as a patient representative/advisor the issue of remuneration for time spent as a “volunteer” has surfaced discussions at the tables. Nationally, and provinicially it varies greatly (from zero – up) how organizations acknowledge patient advisors, as well different people on the same committees are acknowledged differently. I would like to encourage a discussion on this topic.

    • Thanks for your comment, Karla. The topic you raise is an important one and would certainly add to the “elephant in the room.” Among other things, it has the potential of generating some very interesting dialogue. Thanks again and have a good day.

      • Yes, I agree with Karla. I sense folks will tend to feel one of 2 ways pretty strongly – toward AHS providing remuneration for time spent as a volunteer, versus not providing it. When one ‘peels back the layers of the onion’ back and has an honest/frank discussion on this topic, perhaps things like the level of commitment, involvement and contributions made by the volunteer (which may leverage the their healthcare and professional/business skills) should be considered. I also encourage this topic be included in the ‘elephants in the room’ discussion. Thanks …

        • Hi Pete – Your assessment about there being two distinct camps with respect to volunteering and remuneration is apt to be very true. Nevertheless, perhaps through dialogue and conversation some common ground and areas of agreement can be found. At the very least, it has the makings of a very interesting discussion. In terms of what you suggest about level of commitment, involvement and contributions, who would evaluate the volunteer and what/whose standard would be used to “measure” each attribute? All for now and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Pete.

          • Hi admin (perhaps this is Tracy?) … You asked some good questions. I suggest it would be presumptuous of me to think I (or perhaps any of us) to individually have a good grasp of how to best deal with this topic. Perhaps it would be helpful to know that many people (AHS staff from across province from many areas; some patient & family advisors) have been involved in a long project working on this topic, with a report (I don’t think this is a public document) having been created and shared with AHS senior management. I have had the opportunity to be part of this conversation, am proud of the report generated from this work, and suggest this topic is very complex – yet, one that continues to need to be discussed. All for now. Thanks…

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