Patient Advisory Council - Niagara North Family Health Team

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Patient Advisory Council Tools and Information

Patients of Niagara North Family Health Team:

Are you interested in learning and becoming more involved with how healthcare is delivered at your clinic?  Do you want and contribute to making the Niagara North Family Health Team a more patient and family centered institution?  If so, you may be interested in joining one of our Patient Advisory Councils.

What is a Patient Advisory Council?

A Patient Advisory Council is a dedicated group of patient volunteers that work together with other patients, families, clinicians, and Niagara North staff as partners to improve the quality and safety of health care delivery at the Niagara North Family Health Team.  The council will generally meet once a month to learn about, discuss and implement future and ongoing projects aimed at improving patient care at the Niagara North Family Health Team.

Why are Patient Advisory Councils Important?

Patient Advisors are patients of the Niagara North Family Health Team willing to offer insights and input to help the clinic provide care and services based on patient-identified needs rather than the assumptions of clinicians or other staff about what patients and families want.

Patient advisors are important to the Niagara North Family Health Team as they provide:

  • insights about the strengths of the clinic and areas where changes may be needed.
  • feedback on practices and policies that patients and families find meaningful and useful in helping them be active partners in their care.
  • timely feedback and a fuller picture of the care experience than standard patient and family satisfaction surveys provide.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Patient Advisor

Other than being a patient of the Niagara North Family Health Team, there are no other specific qualifications for joining the Patient Advisory Council.  However, interested patients should:

  • Be willing to talk about their experiences and can effectively share insights and information.
  • Demonstrate a passion for improving health care for others.
  • Have the ability to listen well, respect the perspectives of others, interact with many different kinds of people, and work in partnerships.
  • Enjoy working with others, show a positive outlook on life, and bring a sense of humor.

How to join the Patient Advisory Council

If you are interested in joining the Patient Advisory Council for the Niagara North Family Health Team please write a letter of interest addressed to the executive director and submit your letter and resume by:

  • emailing it to the the Niagara North Family Health Team: gcfht@niagaranorthfht.ca

 or

  • dropping it off in person at the 145 Cartlon St. Site, St. Catharines ON

Selected candidates will be notified by the Niagara North Family Health Team staff liaison to the Patient Advisory Council and be asked to participate in a short interview regarding their interest in the position.

Tools and Resources for Patient Advisors

Below are some helpful resources for current, future and potential Patient Advisory Council Members:

  • Preparing to Join an Advisory Council – This handbook describes the role of advisory councils, why you should get involved and key ways you can prepare.
  • List of Common Health Care Acronyms – Use this list of health care acronyms and their meanings to help you get around in, and engage with, healthcare staff and providers.
  • Getting Involved in Quality Improvement – Quality Improvement is the process that health organizations use to improve how they plan and give care to patients and their caregivers. Use this short decision-making-tool to know when, why and how you can get involved in Quality Improvement projects.
  • Story Telling Resources – personal stories serve as powerful tools for bringing about constructive change in the healthcare system. However,  sharing your personal story as a patient or caregiver can be tough. Use these story telling tips to share your health journey in a way that is memorable and meaningful for audiences.

Further questions regarding the Patient Advisory Council can be emailed to the Staff Liaison of the Patient Advisory Council: gcfht@niagaranorthfht.ca