Over the past two years, Montfort Hospital has harnessed the concept of patients as partners to overhaul its surgical program flow.

After receiving a complaint concerning the pre-admission procedure, the hospital invited the patient to tell her story to the members of the Management Committee at a Kaizen Strategy session. The meeting resulted in a major breakthrough statement that would inform all of the surgical program’s continuous improvement initiatives for the next five years: “Le patient n’attend plus” (Eliminating patient waiting).

Through this patient partner’s contribution, the management team also became aware of the impact that collaboration with patient partners could have on the development of our clinical services, a realization that undoubtedly played a part in the creation and success of the Patient Partner Council.

A few months later, a large multidisciplinary team (including physicians, staff and Lean officers) spent a full week going over the pre-admission procedure with a view to eliminating patient waiting.

Over the ensuing two years, the team adopted a series of PDSA continuous improvement cycles to increase the efficiency of the process.

Lastly, the patient partner who made the initial complaint returned to conduct a tracer and, by following another patient, was able to see for herself the turnaround achieved by the surgical team. She reported on her observations at a session attended by the hospital’s entire management team in December 2016.

This vision, prompted by a patient’s complaint, has transformed the surgical program since 2014 with the development of a number of Kaizens: in pre-admission, in the surgical unit, in sterilization and in the operating theatre, all inspired by the same breakthrough: “Le patient n’attend plus.”

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