Introducing our Care Experience Charter

Murray Powell

Dec. 18, 2019 – On Aug. 31, 2015, Murray Powell accidentally fell on the tracks at Bay subway station. He was pulled to safety, taken to St. Michael’s for evaluation and then moved to Providence for months of recovery for his seven broken ribs, cracked pelvis and other injuries.

“All told, it was about two months from the day I entered the treatment program that I was back out in the public and on stage singing a song that I’d written about it,” Powell said. “The treatment that I had here was incredible. On the day I was ready to leave, it was hard because on one hand, I didn’t really want to go but of course I wanted to leave. That’s how valuable it was to me.”

Powell wanted to give back and so, shortly after leaving Providence, he became a Patient and Family Partner, helping support initiatives by sharing his own experience. That’s how he found himself helping create Unity Health Toronto’s first harmonized Care Experience Charter.

Every hospital is required by law (under the Excellent Care for All Act 2010) to have something called a patient declaration of values that outlines what patients and families value when they receive care. In 2018, Unity Health started a project to harmonize our three sites’ existing declarations into one that would reflect our organization, including the Houses of Providence. The finished product – the Care Experience Charter – has two versions: one for our hospitals and one for the Houses. They each include eight statements that describe what patients, residents and family members value when they come to us for care, as well as guiding principles that were co-designed with our staff and physicians that outline the steps employees will take to demonstrate those values.

“The process was inclusive, broad and extensive in terms of the amount of input given and I think that bodes well for its quality, honesty and value,” said Powell. “It’s really important that everyone at Unity Health knows that people who are real patients or caregivers contributed to this – we got this from people who have been treated by you or your colleagues.”