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Experience Based Co-Design Project:

Finding a Better Way Together

At CHEO we strive to provide every patient and family with an exceptional experience the minute they walk through our doors. We are constantly re-evaluating our processes to see how we can make improvements that will make already difficult and scary health situations a little bit easier for families.

Last spring, we launched an Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD) project in CHEO’s oncology program to strengthen partnerships between patients, families and staff, with the goal of improving our services and your care experience. We were fortunate to have fourteen oncology staff (from several occupations), one physician and twelve families (including 24 parents, 5 youth and 2 siblings) participate in individual interviews and focus groups to identify key areas of improvement.

Our volunteer participants were excited to be part of this project and to have an opportunity to share their input. Everyone involved recognized the importance of working together to create an overall better experience. Our participants had great things to say:

"Great summary of real issues. Hearing it from people (versus written document) makes a BIG difference." (Parent)


"I felt safe and comfortable during this process, despite touchy/difficult subjects that were highlighted." (Staff)


"Great to hear both sides, especially that there is a great deal of commonality." (Parent)


"Very excited about future projects that stem from the process." (Staff)

Where do we go from here?

Families and staff involved in the first phase of our EBCD project identified the way in which patients/families are introduced to CHEO’s oncology services as a key priority for improvement. Thanks to this feedback, we are reconvening with project participants on February 28th to drill down how we can improve our orientation services.

We’ll talk about what a good orientation package should include, and what needs to happen during the early days of the oncology experience to help patients and families feel as comfortable and confident as possible with the care they will receive. We will then take all of the great information we gather and test these recommendations. Following this, we will begin to use this new and improved process to introduce patients and families to CHEO’s oncology services, resulting in a much improved care partnership between staff, patients and families; and an overall improved patient experience.

How can I get involved?

Have you received a cancer diagnosis at CHEO within the past 12 months? If the answer is yes, and you would like to help us improve the orientation package and process for new families, then we would love to hear from you! Please contact Mireille Brosseau, our Project Manager and EBCD Facilitator (613-737-7600 x 3573).

For anyone wanting to be kept informed about progress on the EBCD initiative, you are also invited to contact Mireille Brosseau.

Many thanks to all who have contributed to this project so far. While discussing care experiences and identifying areas of improvement have not been easy for staff, patients or families, this initiative has provided great insight towards building an exceptional experience for all involved.

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