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Re-imagining the patient and family experience: SickKids launches new Patient and Family Experience Strategy
5 minute read

Re-imagining the patient and family experience: SickKids launches new Patient and Family Experience Strategy


Designed with input from patients, families, staff and the community, this strategy will be a blueprint for a more human-centred experience across care, research and education at SickKids.

In a colourful MRI room, a child is smiling while wearing MRI simulation goggles. She is sitting on the lap of a staff member who is wearing a headset. Two other staff assist with preparing the child for the MRI.

Kids being kids. Families being families.

No matter where they are in their specific paediatric health-care journeys, patients and families have
shared that a fundamental need and expectation for their health-care experience is to first be recognized as the unique children, youth and families they are.

Today, following many months of collaborative work with patients, families, staff and the community, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is launching a new Patient and Family Experience Strategy, which will serve as the blueprint to re-imagine and re-energize our services and to ensure a more human-centred experience to care, research and education.

Over the course of this work, patients and families generously shared their stories about the challenges, opportunities and memorable interactions that have impacted their experiences at SickKids. We heard that compassionate communication, active listening, making decisions together, comfortable spaces, and commitment to continuous improvement are building blocks without which excellent clinical care, research and education cannot be fully achieved. We also heard that each member of our team, and every action we take, directly or indirectly shapes the experiences of the patients and families we serve, now, and into the future. These foundational elements aren’t just valued by patients and families, but also by staff from across SickKids. 

Ten youth sitting around tables set up in a semi-circle.

“This strategy encourages unity, dignity, transparency, community and commitment,” says the Children’s Council, a group of SickKids patients who have been key partners in the design of the Patient and Family Experience Strategy. “We are excited about the launch and continuing to share our experiences with the SickKids community.”

The voices of caregivers have also provided critical input into the creation of the strategy. “As a parent, I am proud of the organization-wide effort put into this strategy to ensure a clear commitment to partnership across SickKids,” says Family Advisor Julie Rose. “I feel that the current and future work will positively impact the experiences of patients and their families across the continuum of care."

The Patient and Family Experience Strategy is integrated with SickKids’ Precision Child Health movement, which aims to provide individualized care that attends to the unique characteristics of each patient.

“SickKids’ new Patient and Family Experience Strategy will help chart our path forward in championing the human experience in paediatric health care, and with bringing Precision Child Health to life,” says Karen Kinnear, VP Clinical Operations and Patient and Family Experience at SickKids. “We are grateful for the openness with which the voices, vision and values of patients and families, staff and our community have been and continue to be entrusted to us.”

A young man standing in a hospital hallway holding colourful Bravery Beads in his hands.

Learn more about SickKids’ new Patient and Family Experience Strategy at

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