Patient Experience Partner (PXP) Program Bringing People-Centred Care to Life at NYGH

January 17, 2024

Patient Experience Partners (PXPs) and NYGH staff at a get-together during the summer of 2023 at the General site back gardens. Barb Avard is picture second from left.

For more than 11 years, North York resident Barb Avard has been actively involved with the Critical Care team at North York General Hospital (NYGH) as a volunteer Patient and Family Advisor, and now, a Patient Experience Partner (PXP).

Barb attends regular meetings to provide input on projects and programs led by the Critical Care team. This included becoming a key member of the planning team to re-design NYGH’s critical care inpatient rooms and visitor waiting room, where she shared feedback on the layout of visitor waiting rooms and tested furniture to ensure it provided a comfortable space for visitors and caregivers.

“Too often, you can get caught up looking at a new initiative from only a provider’s lens,” says Doris Liaw, Critical Care Clinical and Special Projects Coordinator at NYGH. “Having someone like Barb provides us with a much-needed patient or caregiver’s perspective, every step of the way, to ensure we are meeting the needs of our communities.”

Through NYGH’s People-Centred Care Strategy, hospital teams consider each person’s environment, values and preferences in all they do. PXPs are an example of People-Centred Care and how this approach is being applied to the design and delivery of our care services.

As former patients and/or family members of patients, PXPs contribute to decision-making across all NYGH sites. They partner with teams to jointly design improved experiences for our people and communities and are involved in a wide range of projects that best match their interests, experience and availability.

“At NYGH, we have a long, proud history of collaborating with our patient and caregiver communities to co-design initiatives that will improve how we deliver care,” says Shana Haberman, People-Centred Care Consultant at NYGH.

“Building on this rich foundation, People-Centred Care has evolved our former Patient and Family Centred Care model to become more holistic, so both patients and care providers are viewed as equal partners instead of just as advisors, and are involved, at every stage, in the co-design of new hospital initiatives.”

NYGH is committed to building a program that reflects the diverse communities the organization serves. Recently NYGH recruited 14 new PXPs from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences to bring the total number of volunteers in the program to 40.

“I am very lucky to work so closely with the Critical Care team and to be treated as a partner where my voice is heard and my insights are respected and seen as valuable,” says Barb. “It’s really encouraging to see how the team is inclusive and open to making changes that will improve the patient and caregiver experience.” 

Learn more about NYGH’s PXP program and People-Centred Care.