Working to improve the patient experience

Anne Rouillard

Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) is celebrating the one year anniversary of the PEP program (Patient Experience Participants). The program started in November 2017 with 14 volunteers and has grown to 21. PEPs play a vital role by including the patient’s voice in the organization and ensuring patient and family-centred care is at the core of what we do. As the program has grown PEPs have become an integral part of the hospital.  

Anne Rouillard has been volunteering at the hospital as a PEP since the program started. “I wanted to give back to the hospital that serves the community I’ve lived in for 32 years,” said Anne.  After having surgery at the hospital, Anne saw an ad in the paper looking for PEPs and she had recently retired and was looking for an opportunity to volunteer.  “My entire family and I have used the services of the hospital from cardiac care to the Emergency Department, so I’m proud to be able to contribute in some way.”  

As a PEP she has worked on a number of hospital committees such as the Strategic Planning Committee the Corporate Quality Committee as well as the Surgical Quality Committee. She’s also been a part of working committees for falls prevention and same day joint surgery. “PEPs are here to provide input on policy and procedure, assist patients before they know they have a problem and to make the hospital experience smoother for patients.”  

“My entire family and I have used the services of the hospital from cardiac care to the Emergency Department, so I’m proud to be able to contribute in some way.”  

 As the program enters the second year, the PEPs are looking forward to being a part of more working groups and tackling issues that affect all patients and families such as hospital directions. 

Anne is most excited about her involvement with the falls prevention working group. This is an interprofessional group which brings frontline staff and management together in order to proactively identify falls prevention strategies and improve patient safety. “We’ve identified a problem, and now we’ll be working together to solve it. I’m hoping we can make a big impact in a short amount of time.” Anne provides the patient perspective through idea generation, community engagement, and adds valuable input to surveys, signage and pamphlets for patients and families. 

PEP 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 that they must be a former MSH patient or patient caregiver who has received care at MSH in the last two to three years. Learn more about becoming a PEP.