Mapping activities with AHICs

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Through Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs), Aboriginal Health is investing in mapping, a collaborative learning process with First Nations and Aboriginal communities and organizations, to better understand service gaps and opportunities for improvement in First Nations and Aboriginal patient experiences of health services. 

Process mapping is an exercise that explores the details of a particular aspect or process of health services or programs to gain a better understanding of challenges, strengths, gaps, barriers and opportunities to improve. Patient journey mapping includes interviews with patients about their experiences accessing health care and seeking support for health issues. 

Mapping was introduced at the June AHIC Gathering where Margo Greenwood, VP Aboriginal Health, announced financial and staffing support for AHICs to undertake these activities. Since then, eight mapping sessions have been held in five different communities. Several more are planned to unfold over the fall and winter months. Some of the topics that AHICs have chosen to explore include: the process of an Elder patient returning to their home community after receiving services at a Northern Health Acute Care facility, discharge planning, and also the journey through maternal and child health services from prenatal care to six months postpartum. 

The opportunity to engage in mapping has been received with enthusiasm by both First Nations and Aboriginal communities and NH staff alike. It is a great way to learn about each other’s health care realities and to contribute towards common solutions. Thanks to Linda Axen, Nursing Research Coordinator for Quality and Innovation at Northern Health, for facilitating the initial mapping sessions and building mapping capacity with our Aboriginal Health Leads who will now be carrying this initiative forward into spring 2015. 

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