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Patient and Family Engagement

Patient and Family Engagement is the process of designing, planning, delivering, and evaluating healthcare and research, together with patients and families.

Clinicians and healthcare professionals have a high moral and ethical responsibility to engage those who are impacted by health decisions in making those decisions. This is a priority of our province and healthcare system, as seen in the vision, mission, and values of the BC Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority Service Plan, and the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Directional Plan.

The evidence for patient and family engagement is strong, so much so that Accreditation Canada says that it should be standard in how we work. This includes standards for both organizational leadership and clinical excellence.

Through authentic engagement, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services aims for a healthcare system that delivers patient- and family-centered care, resulting in a meaningful experience for patients, families, and staff.

What does patient and family engagement look like?

Staff, physicians, and researchers are expected to partner with patients and families at all levels of their everyday work, across the multiple domains of our system. This ranges from providing information and education to patients, through to empowering them to make decisions that we will implement.

(Page 6, BCMHSUS Patient and Family Engagement Framework) 

Patient and family engagement framework

The BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Patient and Family Engagement Framework is a foundational document to guide the engagement of patients and families. It is based on decades of evidence and world-wide best practices that have been endorsed by the BC Ministry of Health and adapted here for the unique and specialized work we do at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

The Framework outlines:

  • How we define patient and family engagement and why it is needed for exceptional care
  • The Spectrum of Engagement, based on international best practices and customized for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services
  • Practical steps for meaningful engagement
Wondering if you should engage? Use this decision tool to help you determine whether and when to engage patients and families.

Learn more about patient and family engagement

Contact us to learn more about engaging patients and families at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, including resources available to clinicians and healthcare professionals. We can help you initiate, design, and implement a successful engagement process for your research, service, program, and other quality improvement projects.

SOURCE: Patient and Family Engagement ( )
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