• Person- and Family-Centred Care – What It Really Means
    Published August 20, 2015

    The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) candidate. BPSOs are health care and academic organizations selected by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) to implement and evaluate its internationally acclaimed best practice guidelines (BPGs).

    TSH is implementing and evaluating eight BPGs, and is poised to be officially designated as a BPSO in 2018, upon successful completion of its candidacy. Evidence from these BPGs will be incorporated into standards of practice, policies, and protocols across the various units and departments at the hospital. TSH is transforming and ready for the spotlight!

    If you’re interested in learning more about how this work will impact TSH, its patients, and the community, check out the Question-and-Answer article below, featuring Liora Krinsky and Heather Holden, Co-Leads for the Person- and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) guideline.

    Liora Krinsky, Clinical Resource Leader, Medicine and Specialized Geriatrics

    Liora has been at TSH for two years. She is the Clinical Resource Leader for Medicine and Specialized Geriatrics, and consults with members of the interprofessional team to support them in providing excellent patient care. Liora is also a member of the Palliative Consultation team, which meets with patients and families who are experiencing life-limiting diseases. She assists with symptom management and enables palliative patients to participate in their care with dignity, ensuring the highest quality life possible in the time they have remaining.

    On the Job

    Did you always want to work in health care?

    Yes, from the age of five. I received a gift from my aunt, a toy nursing kit – nursing cap, stethoscope, and thermometer. I was sold.

    Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

    I joined the PFCC committee (originally the Patient Experience committee) as I felt the patient was getting “lost” and was more of an “observer” in their own care. When I was asked to co-lead the PFCC guideline, I jumped at the opportunity. 

    In your eyes, how does BPSO candidacy impact patient care?

    Immensely! Patients are the experts in their own lives and the PFCC guideline will allow caregivers to partner with patients so that patients can have the health care experience they deserve. Recently in Canada, there has been a movement to reform the health care system, with a focus on including the patient (and their family) as true partners in care. We encourage patients to become part of the development of strategies to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of care and service delivery at all levels of the health care system. When patients are active participants and partners, their care becomes more accessible, comprehensive, and coordinated to their individual needs. And, their patient experience improves.

    Name a colleague you admire and explain why.

    I worked in a large academic hospital in South Africa in the 1980s. The Chief Nursing Executive was a progressive thinker and the first of my many mentors. She instilled in me the concept of “always putting patients before paperwork.” That is, the patient (and their family) is always the priority and centre of care. Over the years, this has become my professional mission statement.

    What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

    Be confident in what you know and always ask what you don’t. 

    Off the Clock

    Who would play you in a movie?

    Anne Heche.

    I love…

    Scuba diving with sharks.

    If you could have any super power what would you choose?


    Early bird or night owl?

    Early bird. I meditate every morning before I start my day.

    What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

    “Thank you for really listening to me.”

    Heather Holden, Clinical Resource Leader, 4Central/ASU, and Specialty Clinics, General campus

    Heather joined The Scarborough Hospital 16 years ago. For the last seven years, she has been serving as a Clinical Resource Leader. She organizes and supports staff educational needs, conducts orientation for new staff, works with staff, patients, and families to foster a positive, caring patient experience that is based on evidence and quality improvement.

    On the Job

    Did you always want to work in health care?

    I decided I wanted to work in health care at about the age of 15 when my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although, I am told that I had aspirations of being a nurse dating back to early grade school. My mother kept many of my drawings and stories from grades one and two and many of them referenced becoming a nurse “when I grew up.”

    Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

    As part of my job, I am always interested in working with staff, patients, and families to improve the patient experience. I volunteered to be part of the Person-Focused Approach to Care working group. Once we received the news about BPSO I was approached by Liora, to join her in leading the implementation.

    In your eyes, how does BPSO candidacy impact patient care?

    It brings a high-level focus to “Patients as Partners” in care! Establishing a true collaborative partnership with our patients can improve a person’s health and wellness, and increase staff and patient satisfaction. For TSH to become a BPSO demonstrates to the community that we respect our patients as partners in their care. As health care providers, we get to know the whole person: their goals, beliefs, values, culture, experiences of health and life circumstances, and care needs.

    For more on Patients as Partners, see page 10 of TSH’s Strategic Plan, Building a Healthier Scarborough.

    Name a colleague you admire and explain why.

    This is a difficult question as I admire so many of the people I work with for many reasons! I really admire my colleagues who demonstrate courage and advocate for patients on a daily basis.

    What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

    Always have an open mind to new ways of looking at situations.

    Off the Clock

    What is your favourite movie or book?

    The Notebook. I preferred the movie over the book.

    Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

    I wouldn’t bury it. I would share it with friends and family.

    Rules to live by:

    If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place.

    Name the first concert you ever went to.

    Sharon, Lois and Bram when I was about five or six years old!

    What’s your favourite way to relax?

    Spending quality time with my family.

Share Your Experience With Us

Our mission is to provide an outstanding care experience that meets the unique needs of each and every patient. To do that, we need to hear from you.

You may receive a questionnaire in the mail about your stay at The Scarborough Hospital. By answering the questions and returning the form to us, you can help us continually improve the care we deliver to our patients. You can provide feedback at any time through the Patient Feedback Form on our website.

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