Sara-Grey Charlton - Practice Consultant, Patient and Family-Centred Care

Here at Providence Health Care, we are on a journey towards Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) being at the core of all Providence sites and programs. The PFCC model plays a role in the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care services. Together, in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, the people we serve and their families, we continue to provide an exceptional care experience to our patients and their families.

As Practice Consultant, Sara-Grey Charlton has the unique role of championing PHC’s this journey towards.

Sara, you have had a long career with PHC, how did you get to where you are today?

I started at PHC in 2003 as a staff nurse on 10C and the 7th floor at St.Paul’s. I also held a couple of different nurse educator positions and worked as a clinical nurse leader before becoming a practice consultant four years ago.

What’s your role at PHC?

My role at PHC is to lead Patient and family centred care for the organization. I do this by looking at our existing areas where we are strong in PFCC to see if practice can spread from there, looking to other organizations that are already leaders in this work, and looking to our patient and family partners for inspiration. When I am working on a change in practice or a new policy I partner with leaders and staff from across the organization in order to collaborate on that particular issue.

Your role sounds really exciting Sara, what is the best part of your job?

My job is awesome! I love getting to work with leaders and patient partners all over the organization. The work that is happening out there is pretty exciting – and I am inspired regularly by the incredible projects out there that strive to bring the patient and family to the centre of their work.

Are there any mentors that have been particularly important in your career?

Professional practice is a particularly great place to work as there is a diverse group of practice consultants – I feel like I have been the fortunate recipient of mentoring from many of my colleagues.

What impact do you see PHC’s movement towards Patient & Family Centred care having on the patient populations that we service?

My ultimate goal is that patients and their families will feel as though their care experience was excellent from start to finish. I think that PHC’s PFCC movement will ultimately facilitate us to design services that truly meet our populations needs. I know that if we push ourselves to co-design our systems, services, and environments with the people that use them then the amazing work we currently do will only be better for it.

What is your vision for the future of Patient & Family Centred care within in PHC?

PHC has made huge strides in the last three years with Patient and Family Centred Care. As I look to the future for the strategy for PFCC I want to expand where we are engaging with patient partners and want to see it become integrated as a fundamental part of all of the work that we do.

What challenges do you face currently in moving towards this philosophy of care?

PFCC is not new work and it aligns almost seamlessly with all the health disciplines. One of the biggest challenges is that previously and historically there was not an accepted definition of PFCC. When I talk about it with our staff and leaders many people have a hard time understanding how Patient and Family centred is different from Patient and family focused care. So I think the shift doing things or designing services for people to working with and designing with could be a challenge.

What’s happening this summer in Patient & Family centre care and how are you involved? (Any upcoming conferences or workshops)

I’m very excited about the work we are doing to develop a number of different workshops regarding PFCC. August there are some primer workshops for nurses about PFCC. The deadline for abstracts for IPFCC conference are due July 31st. And in August I will be rolling out a proposal process for teams and leaders across PHC to apply for funding to travel to the fall IPFCC seminar to create an action plan for their area.

Thanks to Sara for sharing her insight and passion for Patient and Family Centred Care. For more information on how this model of care is being implemented, please visit our website.