Carol Fancott, Director, Patient Partnerships and Engagement, Healthcare Excellence Canada
Jessie Checkley, Senior Improvement Lead, Patient Partnerships and Engagement, Healthcare Excellence Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in substantial shifts in healthcare practices and policies, including the implementation of blanket visitor restrictions that prohibit essential care partners from accessing loved ones in health and care facilities. The restrictive policies have the best intentions, but also bring known risks and unintended harm to patients and families and moral distress to staff. Essential care partners are different from general visitors. While visitors have an important social role, they are not active partners in care. Essential care partners provide physical, psychological, and emotional support, as deemed important by the patient. This care can include support in decision-making, care coordination, and continuity of care. Essential care partners are identified by the patient (or substitute decision-maker) and can include family members, close friends, or other caregivers. There is clear evidence that the presence of essential care partners benefits care, experience, safety, and outcomes.
Learn more about Essential Together – a program to support policymakers, policy implementers, and those who experience policy relating to family presence during the pandemic and beyond. The program builds on a former CFHI program – Better Together – and is based on co-created policy guidance that supports the reintegration of essential care partners during the pandemic. The guidance consists of seven key elements to help organizations identify and prepare essential care partners and then support them as they enter health and care facilities.
In this webinar, participants will:
- Understand the need to differentiate between visitors and essential care partners
- Gain insights into the evidence that supports family presence and the valuable role of essential care partners
- Learn about the elements of the co-developed policy guidance, Essential Together, and a balanced approach for the safe reintegration of essential care partners into health and care settings
- Learn about the supports available to help implement the policy guidance
- Learn how we are measuring success