Putting power in patients' hands

The comfort of a whiteboard by Nancy Ward’s bedside has meant the world to her.

“The whiteboard tells me everything I need to know; you can lose track quite easily in here,” she says.

Nancy is a patient at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital. It’s a place where she feels like she can take charge of her own care. She’s been a patient for just over two weeks after suffering a stroke. The bedside whiteboard tells Nancy who is involved in her care and includes the date she can expect to go home, a schedule of what her day looks like and specific information related to her mobility and nutrition needs.

“They tell you everything you need to know,” says Nancy.

The whiteboard is just one component of Covenant Health’s Path to Home care model, which aims to improve dialogue between healthcare teams and their patients.  

“At all levels, the communications have been more open and transparent. This allows us to really make a difference in the lives of the people we serve every day,” says Carol Price, Clinical Operations Lead for Path to Home at the Grey Nuns.

Dedicated Covenant Health staff members are getting training to implement Path to Home at rural sites.

Covenant Health rural partners have gathered in Edmonton for a two-day boot camp to see the model in action on Nancy’s unit so they can implement it successfully at their own sites.

“They will have a better understanding of the patient’s journey and how it’s going to progress from admission to discharge,” says Nina Livesley, Manager at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital.

Lori Thorburn, Licensed Practical Nurse at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital, says Path to Home puts patients at the centre of their care in a standardized and consistent way.

“We’re always planning for our patients, but what’s not always indicated to the patients is how we are going to plan for them. Now we’re including them in that plan and giving them a voice,” says Lori.

And having a voice provides relief for Nancy. She knows she’s getting the best care possible. “I just can’t imagine where I would be if they weren’t here to cheer me on.”

Path to Home implementation will continue at various Covenant Health sites. 

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