Dr. Andreas Laupacis: How to deliver better health care? Ask the patient

Dr. Andreas Laupacis, a palliative care physician at Toronto‚Äôs St. Michael’s Hospital, guest of HSN Speaker Series.

As reported in sudbury.com

Health Sciences North hosted its second instalment of its Speaker Series April 24, welcoming Dr. Andreas Laupacis, a palliative care physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
His talk was centred around patient involvement in the health care field and the importance of looking at the collective experiences of patients in order to provide better care.
“There’s increasing interest in how we involve patients more in health care in both the research we do and how we run our hospitals and our family physician offices,” said Laupacis.
“It’s early days in doing that so I’m going to be speaking about and describing my experiences working with dialysis patients across the country to find out from their point of view what their priorities are. If they were funding research, what are their research priorities.”
It’s important for doctors to involve patients in the health care planning process as they are able to provide input and insight that doctors couldn’t tap into otherwise, he said.
“We often don’t think of it from a system point of view or how patients look at the clinic. We can use collective experiences from a number of patients who all have their own unique perspective but together might help us. In my hospital I show up to clinic and I see patients but I actually don’t plan how it’s set up and I think patients could really help in terms of helping us think through how they’re set up.”
When referencing patients, Laupacis said it goes well beyond the individual receiving treatment, and that involvement of family members is paramount.
“A lot of people on dialysis are very old, they’re frail, and frankly too tired to get into a big discussion about how we might want to manage their dialysis clinic, but their children might be keen to do that,” said Laupacis.
“You also look at children of parents with dementia, or parents with kids. Obviously a teenager can tell you what they want, but a three-year-old isn’t going to be able to do that.”
The hospital is hosting a series of guest speakers in conjunction with the development of their strategic plan and will hear from five different speakers over the course of two months.

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