Partnering with patients, their families and their caregivers is essential to the way Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) delivers high quality and safe care to all of our patients. As such, patient experience continues to be at the forefront at the hospital. In November of this year MSH launched the PEP program (Patient Experience Participants). PEP volunteers work with hospital staff and physicians, sharing their ideas, perspectives, and experiences to inform decisions that directly impacts care delivery, services and patient experience. The main criteria for a PEP is that they must be a former MSH patient or patient caregiver who has received care at MSH in the last two to three years.

Helping staff understand and see things they may not see as part of their every day work.

Cynthia Ross-Hiatt, is one of 15 PEPs in the program, that have already logged over 60 hours of service as a group. As a former paramedic she understands the complexities of the healthcare system. And as a caregiver to MSH patients she recognizes her role in shaping and improving care at the hospital. She volunteered to be a PEP, following a “not so good” experience at the hospital. She wanted to use that recent experience to “make it better”, to advise and identify opportunities to improve care for other patients and their families.

As a PEP, Ross-Hiatt has worked with the oncology department providing input on the unit from a patient perspective, conducting staff interviews as well as participating in safety walks and staff engagement events such as fairs, etc. all with the goal of “helping staff at the hospital understand and see things that they may not be seeing as part of their everyday work.”