Dragons’ Den Symposium Winner: Using Patient Stories in a Webinar Format to Enhance Public Education About Advance Care Planning

Presented By:

Teresa Barresi BSc., RN, MHS – bteresa@starfht.ca

Kenneth Hook BSc., M.D., FCFP (LM)

Click here to view the slide deck!

The STAR Family Health Team has undertaken to create and deliver a webinar presentation for our patients and the wider community on the topic of Advance Care Planning. Speak Up Ontario information provides the foundational material, augmented with video presentations developed by the Waterloo Wellington LHIN.  But it is the patient stories woven into the presentation that makes it most unique.  Our objective was to create a presentation within the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic that would incorporate patient stories, with the purpose of enhancing the audience’s better understanding about Advance Care Planning.

As part of a Quality Improvement initiative, the STAR Family Health Team has undertaken to engage our patients in understanding the Ontario legal framework for Advance Care Planning, and to encourage them to start their own Advance Care Planning journey.  There was also an interest to reach out to the broader community and share this expertise. We conducted live in-person educational events about Advance Care Planning, held in local communities, inviting both our family health team’s patients and the general public.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was no longer possible to have public gatherings.  We embarked on bringing together our key team members to adapt their live Advance Care Planning presentation to a webinar format. Our Advance Care Planning team includes:

  • A Family Physician – dedicated to 44 years of patient-centered care
  • Our Clinical Coordinator – a Registered Nurse with 32 years dedicated to patient-centered care
  • Two Social Workers- an MSW, and a Registered Psychotherapist – both passionate for listening to the patient story.
  • An Administrative Assistant –A brilliant wizard on the technical side of things!

What is unique about our presentation is that we include patient stories to illustrate the role of patient’s beliefs, values and wishes in health care decision-making. The stories are actual cases with the names and circumstances changed to protect the privacy of the patients.

In our previous live community presentations, at the end of the talk the audience had been surveyed for feedback about the different components of the presentation. Over 90% rated the stories as very good or excellent. We concluded that the audience appreciated adding patient stories to this educational programme.

The ongoing restrictions of the pandemic have provided an opportunity for innovation as we have adapted the in-person presentation into a webinar about Advance Care Planning which is now available on the STAR Family Health Team website. The webinar is linked to a feedback tool to allow those who view it to provide additional feedback and augment the data already collected. This data will further refine the team’s Advance Care Planning presentation, and the information gained will be shared with other organizations involved in public education about Advance Care Planning.  Our goal of sharing our webinar will make people aware of how the patient stories illustrate that good outcomes occur when Advance Care Planning was involved, and less favourable outcomes occur where Advance Care Planning was absent. By this messaging it will hopefully stress the importance of everyone starting now, to embark on their own Advance Care Planning journey. Through our team’s efforts we want to spread this message of the importance of Advance Care Planning.

Contact for additional information: Teresa Barresi, Primary Team Coordinator STAR Family Health Team

Click here to view the webinar!