North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
Share Your Story, Shape Your Care community online dialogue
Northwestern Ontario is a unique place with a special set of health care challenges. People living in the region have poorer health than anywhere else in Ontario, and have the furthest to travel to access health services. It’s a population of a few hundred thousand people spread across an area the size of France.
The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) manages how heath services are delivered and knew they needed to listen to and involve local communities in setting a care plan for the future. That’s why they decided to work with Ascentum. The resulting partnership led to Share Your Story, Shape Your Care – a game-changing online engagement initiative that received the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)’s inaugural Innovation of the Year award for 2009.
Ascentum built a suite of online and in-person tools to involve local patients, health care workers and stakeholders. These included an online deliberative Choicebook™, a stories and ideas sharing platform and a creative community Conversation Guide to empower people to host their own dialogues on local health care solutions at home, at work or in their neighbourhoods.
By the time Share Your Story, Shape Your Care had ended, the LHIN had:
- Heard from over 800 people across Northwestern Ontario
- Learned more about patients’ and health professionals’ experiences with the health care system
- Identified clear public values and priorities for the future of local health care.
- Gathered 100s of new insightful ideas on how to provide services differently and more effectively
Share Your Story, Shape Your Care allowed the North West LHIN to develop a health services plan that more closely reflected the values of local communities and their health care needs.
And, it further enhanced their reputation as a government agency that listens closely to public views and gives them close consideration when making tough decisions.
The Choicebook was an interactive experience that allowed participants to provide informed perspectives on key issues, through facts, scenarios and background information. It collected by qualitative and quantitative data that was straightforward and highly accurate.
This tool allowed participants to share their own experiences and their own solutions directly with the North West LHIN. People could also choose to make their story or idea public, posted in near-realtime after review for appropriateness.
This tool was designed to foster small participant-led and organized group dialogues in communities across Northwestern Ontario, with simple steps to send the results back to the LHIN. Different participant and facilitator versions helped people run moderate their own conversations, even if they had never done so before.
To learn more about this project, please contact us.