Partnering with patients, their families and caregivers are essential to the way Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) delivers high quality and safe care to all of their patients.

The patient experience continues to be at the forefront at the hospital. With the launch of the PEP program (Patient Experience Participants), volunteers work with hospital staff and physicians, sharing their ideas, perspectives, and experiences to inform decisions that directly impact care delivery, services and patient experience. The main criteria for a PEP is they must be a former MSH patient or caregiver who has received care at the hospital in the last two to three years.

Cynthia Ross-Hiatt, is one of 15 PEPs who have logged more than 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 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 to the unit from a patient perspective. He conducts staff interviews, as well as participate in safety walks and staff engagement events such as fairs, 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.”

Visit msh.on.ca To learn more about the PEP program.

Photo: Cynthia Ross-Hiatt, one of 15 PEPs at MSH.