Excellent Care for All Act Updates

Patient Relations Process

Update - as of of March 4, 2011

The ECFAA requires that all Ontario hospitals have a patient relations process, and make information about that process available to the public. Hospitals also need to ensure that their patient relations process reflects the content of their patient declaration of values. For information on how to develop a declaration of values, please see the guidance material on the website.

In addition, hospitals need to consider patient relations in the development of their quality improvement plans (QIP). The ECFAA requires that the QIP be developed having regard to data relating to the patient relations process.

Why patient relations is important :

"A well-established patient relations structure and process, supported by the right personnel, is key to identifying gaps between patient expectations and experiences of care, and managing perceptions of patient expectations and quality of care (Gilly et al, 1991)."

An easily accessible and robust patient relations process will ensure that patients have a clearly identified process and mechanism to raise concerns about their experiences and provide feedback.

As well, patient relations processes will provide hospitals with a way of tracking the quality of their patients' experience, and identify opportunities for process and system improvements that meet the needs and expectations of patients. Organizations should take advantage of the valuable insights provided through patient engagement, use this information to identify common failure points, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Please review best practice recommendations for designing a patient relations process.

For questions about Excellent Care for All, please email

Related Legislation

Section 6.
(1) Every health care organization shall have a patient relations process and shall make information about that process available to the public.

(2) The health care organization shall ensure that the patient relations process reflects the content of its patient declaration of values.

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