Queen's University

Policy Studies staff member advocates for KGH patients

 
2011-11-08
Jennifer Dee, coordinator of the Master of Industrial Relations program, has volunteered at Kingston General Hospital as an patient experience advisor. She also serves on the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

A Queen’s staff member is playing an important role in improving the patient experience at Kingston General Hospital (KGH).

“When people enter the health care system, they expect to be treated with dignity and a reasonable level of care. They also want the opportunity to be involved in their care. I wanted to contribute to help ensure that happens,” says Jennifer Dee, who coordinates the Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) program in the School of Policy Studies.

Ms Dee has had both positive and negative experiences as a patient at KGH and felt her input could strengthen the vital community resource. She volunteered as a patient experience advisor and joined the Patient and Family Advisory Council in September 2010. The council of 12 former patients or family members drives and guides change at the hospital as part of the planning and decision-making process.

Ms Dee contributes to several of the council’s special interest groups including one that examines the containment of hospital-acquired infections. She was particularly interested in the topic because she contracted C. difficile following a routine procedure at KGH.

Ms Dee also addresses new KGH staff during their orientation.

“I stress the motto, ‘nothing about me, without me.’ It is the commitment to ongoing dialogue and consultation with patients and families that will help us all to shape the care of the future to truly reflect the needs of patients and families and to give them a voice in the way that their care is delivered,” she says.

Ms Dee is a graduate of the Queen’s MIR program; her education and work experience gave her the confidence to serve as an advisor and on the council. She understands working in a large organization and is willing to ask people for more information in order to understand the issues.

The public can learn more about how Ms Dee and other advisors are transforming the patient experience at an event on Thursday, November 10. KGH will host Patients Know Best at St. Lawrence College, Davies Lounge, from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm.
 

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