Patient Family & Community Engagement | Global Perspective

Engaging patients and families in developing, implementing, and evaluating hospital at home: A Canadian case study

The Hospital at Home (HaH) care model is naturally patient-centered, with improved patient and family experiences and outcomes firmly anchoring the innovative approach to care. Existing literature focuses largely on the health care and patient care outcomes of HaH; however, to date, none of the identified literature has reported on engaging patients and families in the development, implementation, or evaluation of the HaH model of care. A multi-stakeholder, Patient-Oriented Research team in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada engaged patients and family/friend caregivers (PFCs) across all components of the HaH program. Guided by best practices in patient and public engagement, the team collaborated to 1) explore the potential impact of in-home acute care on PFCs’ experiences; 2) identify health, social, and practice outcomes that matter to PFCs; 3) examine the social and environmental factors which may impact delivery of HaH; and 4) inform the HaH evaluation framework that includes PFC priority measures related to experience and outcomes. A public, online survey (n=543 PFC respondents) revealed both program-specific and evaluation-specific themes. These included a focus on patients achieving their own health goals and standard health outcomes, as well as patients and caregivers receiving training to support care at home. Engaging PFCs throughout HaH conception and implementation ensured the end program accurately reflected the priorities, concerns, and values of those that HaH is meant to serve.

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