About Patients as Partners
In 2010, the Ministry of Health adopted a “Patients as Partners” approach, an initiative with two principal aims:
- to promote patient involvement and decision-making in the health care system by providing patients and providers with relevant tools; and
- to foster their active involvement in the continuous improvement of quality of care and services.
The Patients as Partners Initiative is part of a larger movement to bring the voice, choice and experience of patients, family members and caregivers to the forefront as part of health care transformation. The Patients as Partners Initiative leads strategy, policy, educational webinars and sessions, collaboration opportunities for health sector partners, and health sector engagements for Ministry strategic priority work. In addition, the Initiative funds a variety of non-governmental organizations to supply tools and resources for patients, family, health-care workers and health sector partners to empower patients, families, health-care providers and caregivers.
In 2016, the Patients as Partners Initiative was honoured with the Canadian International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Organization of the Year award for its engagement activities that resulted in more than 40,000 patient engagements.
Our mandate is to ensure person- and family-centred health care is at the foundation of health care in BC and drives policy, accountability, and service design and delivery. We strive to bring a sustained shift to health care in BC to put patients, families and caregivers at the centre. Our approach is do things with persons, families and caregivers as partners in health care, rather than doing things to or for them.
The Patients as Partners Initiative was founded on the philosophy of person and family-centred health care, where health-care improvement requires collaboration between patients, families, caregivers and health-care providers at the individual, community and system domains. The Patients as Partners Initiative has three main building blocks:
- self-management for chronic diseases;
- engagement for patients, families, caregivers, providers and the public; and
- person- and family-centred health care.
The motto for Patient as Partners is “nothing about me without me.” Patients, families, and caregivers are partners in health care when they are supported and encouraged to actively participate: in their own health care, in decision-making about that care (at the level they choose), and in quality improvement and health care design in ongoing and sustainable ways.