Patient and Family Advisory Council Helping DRDH Connect to the Community


The Patient and Family Advisory Council serves in an advisory capacity, providing feedback and input related to the experience of patients, residents, and their families at the Hospital, Four Seasons Lodge, and Family Health Team. Members of the Council share ideas on how to improve the patient / resident experience, advise on strategies to enhance partnerships with patients, residents, family members, and caregivers, as well as provide input into annual quality improvement initiatives. The volunteer members of the Council meet an average of four times a year, now safely from the comfort of home.

Earlier this year, the Council decided that meeting highlights should be shared with the community, in order to showcase the work and activities carried out by the Council.

At the first meeting of the 2021-2022 Board Year in October, Council members received an annual orientation, which provided an overview of Council functions, quality and safety, as well as current and future initiatives of the organization. As a follow-up to the orientation, the Council established an education plan to ensure continued learning for Advisors at each of the upcoming meetings throughout the year. At the second meeting of the year in November, education was provided on ethics and the Four Seasons Lodge Long-Term Care Home.

In October, the Council reviewed results from the 2021 Resident and Family Satisfaction Survey, which is conducted annually in the Four Seasons Lodge Long-Term Care Home. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Residents can be seen in the results of the survey this year. After having restrictions on visitation, outings, and activities, overall satisfaction is down in comparison to last year. When the survey was completed last year, Residents had only been dealing with COVID-19 restrictions for a short period of time, and none of us could have imagined how long they would remain in place for. As a result, the impacts of the pandemic are better seen in this year’s survey after restrictions had been in place for a prolonged period of time. The survey helped identify a number of areas for improvement in the resident experience, such as those related to ‘daily decisions’, which were impacted by the prolonged pandemic restrictions in Long-Term Care. When reviewed with the residents, key experience markers are anticipated to improve with ongoing easing of provincial restrictions in Long-Term Care.

In November, the Council reviewed results from the 2020-2021 Patient Experience Survey for inpatient and emergency care, which are standardized surveys conducted through NRC Health. For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Deep River and District Hospital demonstrated consistently high levels of patient satisfaction, and continues to remain above provincial and Champlain LHIN averages in overall performance, as well as several key indicators.

At each meeting, the Council reviews reports relating to quality and risk indicators, which track the quality of care provided and patient / resident outcomes. Examples of quality and risk indicators include incidents of workplace violence, falls, patient and family feedback, and the development or worsening of ulcers.

As the organization continues to respond to direction from regional and provincial bodies, the organization is also adapting to the needs of our local community. Last year’s influenza clinics and COVID-19 testing centres are two examples of initiatives that have been carried out to meet needs of our local patient population. Advisors play a key role in identifying important needs for our community, and enable the organization to adapt care to better meet these needs.

In fact, continuing to provide insight into community, patient, and resident needs in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic is the primary goal the Council has set for themselves this year. Working towards this goal at the latest meeting, Advisors provided input and assisted with planning for ongoing COVID-19 testing needs for our community, as well as COVID-19 vaccination planning for the recently announced 5-11 age group.

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, please submit your expression of interest to Amy Joyce by email at amy.joyce@drdh.org or by phone at 613-584-3333 x 7100.