December 13 saw a group of informed and invested former patients and loved ones share with us what their perception is on our pursuit of world class, what we need to do to retain and recruit the best, how we’re doing with living our values, and what sets us apart.

patients and family talking

Here are a few* of the insights shared that afternoon:

• Staff at other, non-PHC hospitals seem so focused on “treating” versus realizing that what they’re treating is a person.

• Maybe you can change the names of floors or meeting rooms, or add more art to be more inclusive and symbolically represent that people who access the hospitals services?

• As soon as people enter the hospital, they know they’ll be taken care of. There’s a different atmosphere here.

• The culture has been developed over a long period of time. The uniqueness is that care, that compassion. The environment, even though it’s dated, there is something warm about it. At St. Paul’s I’ve never felt that “business” atmosphere.

• Does management taste the food being delivered to patients?

• At MSJ, depending on the type of patient that comes in, the whole environment can change. But the staff numbers don’t change. It’s a very unpredictable environment with a very rigid way of scheduling. How adaptable are the staff for dealing with that sort of ebb and flow?

• What about the people who do maintenance, or those who deliver our food? This is an important group to engage. Some of these jobs are contracted out so it’s important to make sure that your contractors are on the same page.

• Is there a way to pull staff from other areas so that the workload is distributed differently? I think more helping hands would reduce stress asap.

• What needs to be looked at more closely is the organization’s expectations on the workload that people carry. I don’t know how we expect people to compassionate and caring when they working all of these hours.

• If hospitals were a business we would have gone bankrupt. That people are handwriting physician notes or that transferring a patient’s information across health authorities can’t happen is absurd. It’s a safety issue as far as I’m concerned.

• Being able to see updates on your own health, or be able to access updates to a loved one’s file in real time would diminish stress and free up staff time because we wouldn’t be hounding staff for information. If I had been able to get my discharge plan ahead of my discharge, then there wouldn’t be any confusion.

• I’m not aware how much the public knows about St. Paul’s being world class. For those of us who have been there, we know. But for most people, it’s this rundown hospital downtown and for those who have never been there, they likely never want to go. How well is the story of St. Paul’s being told?

* please note: this is a high-level summary; all sentiments discussed were fully captured by the facilitators!

patients and family talking

Formal in-person engagement activities have now come to an end – however, not to worry! Bloom has been extended so that we can continue to capture more great ideas and comments until December 31 – so whether it’s on shift, at home, in the line-up at the grocery store, head to and let us know what will make the next years at Providence meaningful to you.

Thank you again for making the first phase of creating our way forward a success.

Find out more about engagement over the past 5 weeks.