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Open Arms Presentation


Angelica Martin

on 19 April 2017

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Transcript of Open Arms Presentation

Where We Begin
// Rick & Rose Lundy, Linda and Joe O'Donoghue
Who We Are
// Why We Are Here
Intake & Connecting with an Advocate
// Information Management and Confidentiality
Asking Questions
Advocates and clients work together to identify the client's needs, and develop a plan to address the unresolved questions and concerns that a client may have regarding their health care and treatment options with their medical professional or team.

Open Arms maintains an impartial perspective throughout case management and support. This allows us to better clarify, mediate, and represent all parties' positions with respect to appropriate steps, procedures and treatment to address ongoing health concerns.
// Strategy and System Navigation
Many of our advocates are young health care professionals and students eager to learn how they can address and call attention to current system navigation and accessibility issues. Open Arms gives advocates the ability to not only communicate directly with patients and other professionals to learn about effective strategies and solutions for these challenges, but also to learn new skills that require collaboration across multiple levels and areas of expertise. These skills better prepare young health care professionals for respectful and ethical management of patient concerns.

Open Arms advocates encourage their clients to actively participate in self-advocacy while working to address their concerns. The end goal is to ensure clients feel empowered to take an active role in effectively managing their health care outcomes, as well as confidently and respectfully communicating with health care professionals when they feel a concern or need has not yet been met.

Professionals benefit from more manageable and effective communication with patients, helping to re-establish a strong doctor-patient relationship.
// How we help advocates, clients, and professionals thrive
Our Approach
Any confusing or difficult experience, particularly one that goes on for an extended period of time, can have physical, emotional, social and mental consequences. People who are struggling with accessing appropriate treatment and care, or struggling with communicating effectively with health care professionals, are especially vulnerable to these challenges and frustrations.
// An Integrative Approach to the Patient Experience
// Providing Clarity
Seeking Solutions
// Reconciling Past & Present Experiences
We encourage full transparency in the doctor-patient relationship, and lead by example with our clients.

As the nature of many of our clients' experiences is often very time-sensitive, our advocates also maintain timely, regular communication, and consult with clients about the next step to address and eventually resolve their concerns. Regular communication is also critical to ensure patients feel their concerns have been heard, and their experiences have been validated.
Open Arms really began because of the experiences of two families. Their experiences ultimately led to the question: "How can this happen?"

The events we are about to describe are of a graphic and emotionally-sensitive nature.

We are a grassroots organization comprised of volunteers supporting other Albertans who have experienced confusion or difficulty accessing and navigating the health care system.

Our Advocates are extensively trained, and each holds their own particular expertise and approach in navigating what can often be a complicated and intimidating health care system.

During the intake process, clients are matched with an advocate and have an opportunity to discuss their case with them on an individual basis by phone, email, or in person.

Advocates will also typically support patients in creating an agenda, and scheduling a meeting with their health care professionals/teams to talk about and clarify questions, ensuring collaborative discussion and resolution, every step of the way.

All client cases remain strictly confidential, and written consent is required prior to communicating the details of a case to any medical professional, or other appropriate third party.
Because confusing, frustrating health care experiences can make such a lasting impact on a patient's perception and confidence in the health care system, we seek to reconcile the differences in our clients' experiences navigating the system alone versus navigating it with our support. Gradually, we aim to ensure they have the confidence and skills to effectively manage their own health independently by asking clear, descriptive questions, and openly discussing their concerns with their health care professional/team.
Take our pulse!
Find Open Arms updates on Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter online at
Get in touch.
For those

experiencing difficulty navigating the health care system, reach out at


For any questions regarding this presentation, or to schedule a presentation at your organization, please contact Angelica Martin:

Through advocacy, we encourage transparency and accountability as we empower Alberta patients to take an active role in addressing their healthcare concerns.


Dignified, respectful healthcare for all Albertans.
Full transcript