Kids’ hospital needs more input from parents

Oct 4 seminar at WIAIH in Pointe Claire

By Robert Frank

Representatives of the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) will be visiting the West Island Friday, to spread the word about the importance of family-centered healthcare.

“Families have to be part of the team,” neonatologist Dr. Patricia Riley told The Suburban in an interview. “Parents often know what will be best for their particular family. It makes us better physicians when those families can tell us what they need.”

Dr. Riley recalled how a family whose child was hospitalized for a year “experienced a lot of difficulty making sure that different parts of the medical team were speaking to one another and keeping them in the discussion.”

“They eventually developed a rapport that produced a good care plan,” she said. “I don’t think that that would have happened, had they not had a certain expertise as parents. We, as a medical team, can’t develop a plan in a vacuum.”

The problem, she explained, is that some people feel intimidated by medical professionals.

“Some people can’t communicate and others come from cultures where you can’t speak up and ask for what you need,” Dr. Riley observed.

The MCH is striving to empower those parents to do so, she added.

MCH ombudsman Patricia Boyer and patient and family-centred care coordinator Imma Gidaro will conduct a seminar for parents, Oct. 4, on patients’ rights and patients’ engagement.

The lecture will start at 10 a.m. at the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped, at 111 Donegani in Pointe Claire.

Organizers have also arranged for Dr. Clown to be on hand to entertain their children.

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