In 2017, Baycrest Health Sciences identified a gap in its process to capture the voice of its patients and residents. Given the complexity and cognitive challenges, it became increasingly important to ensure there was a sustainable process to hear from this population. Prior to 2016, surveys were conducted annually with a very low response rate with high demands on the volunteer pool. On average, Baycrest obtained just over 120 surveys in a year. Volunteer services, together with Quality developed a new process to train volunteers on how to conduct surveys with people with chronic conditions in our inpatient hospital and long term care home. At the onset, a group of 10 volunteers were trained on the objective for the program, the survey tool, interview and communication tactics for clients with cognitive impairment and other challenges and how to handle difficult situations. In this new program, volunteers were now being asked to interview clients on an ongoing basis based on new sampling methodology. Every week in the hospital and every month in the long term care home, volunteers receive a new list of clients to interview. The volunteer pool has grown from 10 to close to 30 and in just over a year, we have successfully conducted close to 750 surveys.
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