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The value of the patient voice

Sarah Hissett

Being a patient advisor has given me access to many discussions and learning opportunities, not just within my home province of Alberta. It has allowed me to gain insight into healthcare across Canada.

I am able to bring a patient perspective to various panels, meetings, and projects, and experience has shown that it grounds the discussion and provides focus. At the end of the day, healthcare is about the patient — and we are all patients.

We may not be your typical professionals in the health field, but we are patients, families, friends of patients, and even sometimes teachers, helping others be advocates for themselves and their loved ones.

More organizations are seeing the value of bringing the patient voice to the decision-making process. This not only helps with better outcomes but allows opportunity for patient experiences, stories, and feedback to be a vital part of the business of healthcare.

Patient advisor networks allow a sharing of knowledge and, with the advancement in digital capabilities, has opened the door to many opportunities that would not have been available even a few short years ago. Going digital has allowed a more diverse demographic of involvement.

In the past few years since I first became an advisor, I have seen an increase in representation from a wide variety of citizens from across Canada that are passionate about improving the healthcare system. Health is my passion, and the ability to provide feedback and support is growing exponentially.

I am grateful for all the opportunities, connections and communities I have learned about through my role as a patient advisor.

Sarah Hissett is a nutrition and wellness coach at Give Peas a Chance Holistic Nutrition Inc.

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