Care Opinion

Transforming Healthcare Together: Bringing Care Opinion to Alberta

Our healthcare system is facing a crisis.

An increasing number of people do not have access to primary care. Lengthening wait times for treatment, surgery, or to see a specialist are threatening the health and recovery of thousands of people. With our ageing population, continuing care is often disjointed and difficult to navigate while escalating urgent mental health needs are taxing an under-resourced system.

Government, policymakers, clinicians, healthcare staff, patients, families – all are united in seeking safe, high-quality care in a sustainable system.

Albertans would like to see a positive culture flourish, as well as new innovations and treatments introduced for the benefit of all.

Imagine Citizens Network, founded to bring the perspectives of patients and families to rethinking healthcare in Alberta, is proposing a game-changing project that will enable interactive communication among citizens and care providers: The Care Opinion Platform.

Working to facilitate and bring Care Opinion to Alberta in 2024 is a Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee formed and led by ICN volunteer Brenda Fischer and includes ICN members, Judy Birdsell, Alana Kitchen and Ali Alidina. Additional members from collaborators will be added early in 2024. 

Person-centred care has become the central tenet of healthcare improvement around the world.

ICN’s mandate is to find effective ways to enable Albertans’ voices to be heard, and we believe that Care Opinion is the critical tool Alberta needs now. 

What is Care Opinion?

Care Opinion is a place where you can share your experience of health or care services, and help make them better for everyone.

Care Opinion is an interactive online platform that opens transparent channels of communication among patients, families, and healthcare providers through an innovative and value-led approach to online feedback. These interactions build trust and community and they identify where even modest changes can create a larger impact on the patient experience.

Launched in 2005, Care Opinion has almost 20 years of proven success in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia which has led to clinical, operational, and policy improvements to healthcare delivery and ultimately allows patients to receive better care and for care providers to receive thanks and positive reinforcement for the care they provided.

How Does It Work?

Through words, pictures, or both, patients submit their experiences and stories. Your story can be about you, a family member, or a friend and will ideally explain what happened, what was good and what could have been better.  It will be shared on the website without identifying you personally.   

Your story is shared with the person or organization providing the care you described, and they can respond if they wish. Patient stories and responses from providers can be compiled to provide an overall picture. By considering many shared stories and interactions, Care Opinion helps identify areas for improvement. 

Responses are then anonymized and shared with healthcare professionals and experts who are there to listen and respond. By compiling these actionable concerns, Care Opinion helps identify areas for improvement and continued effectiveness from both policymakers and medical staff.

Storytelling is a powerful tool for change.

Care Opinion in Alberta

Care Opinion is a safe, easy, cost-effective way to engage patients and eventually will be open to all Albertans.

Where Care Opinion has been in operation for years, the benefits are clear:

  • The majority of submissions are positive. In fact, it can be a powerful pipeline for gratitude and thanks for healthcare workers at a time when burn-out and retention are serious concerns.
  • It’s simple to use and available to all and it’s transparent for all to see.
  • It provides real-world insights and learning for the change leaders who are looking to make improvements in a patient-centred system.

Care Opinion in Alberta is designed as an independent social enterprise. The set-up phase is anticipated to take three years and will be focused initially on primary care (the starting point in our system for routine and urgent care) and shortly after on continuing care (addressing complex, specialized health needs over an extended period of time).

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