June 25, 2019
To provide helpful information to the community mental health and addictions sector, the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) has released a new resource to encourage client and family engagement in quality improvement initiatives.
This new resource provides tips to mental health and addictions agencies for engaging clients and families, as well as a checklist to assist in empowering client and family advisors to ensure their feedback is being heard and valued in the quality improvement process.
Quality improvement is the practice of implementing measurable improvements to health care systems and is motivated by a desire to improve the experiences and outcomes of clients. To do so effectively, client and family input are vital.
There are a variety of methods that providers have implemented, including client and family advisory boards, satisfaction surveys, focus groups for specific issues and client representation on quality improvement committees. Client input has allowed programs to better understand their population’s needs and target more effective changes. However, difficulties still exist regarding recruitment, orientations and the time commitment required.
In a 2017 survey of the mental health sector, less than 30 per cent of mental health agencies included clients in the planning and delivery of their quality improvement initiatives. However, involving clients in their health care decisions and policy development has been shown to enhance program outcomes. Clients have experience navigating the system and can help design changes that address common problems experienced by service recipients. Client engagement can also lead to increased program reach within the community and contribute to creating a more collaborative work culture.
For more information on client and family engagement in quality improvement, watch this E-QIP webinar.
The Excellence through Quality Improvement Project is a partnership between Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario. E-QIP is dedicated to working with the community mental health and addiction sector to apply quality improvement methods and to increase the quality of care across on Ontario. To join the E-QIP community, become a member of the Community of Practice.