Patient, donor and donor family engagement

Building an inclusive and effective engagement framework

Engaging donors, donor families, advocates, patients, recipients, and caregivers and listening to those with lived experiences within the health care system is immensely valuable. These voices provide insights to illuminate aspects of the care that work for patients and their loved ones and can help to identify those areas where improvements could be made.   

As partners in the system, Canadian Blood Services is involved in collaborating with donation and transplantation programs across the country to develop clinical guidelines and other system improvements. These initiatives can be strengthened, however, with direct, meaningful conversation with patients, recipients, families, and caregivers, to ensure what is developed reflects real-life needs and improves care. Canadian Blood Services has outlined its commitment to engagement in its Corporate Strategy

In recent years, the Organ & Tissue Donation & Transplantation (OTDT) program has engaged patients and families in several areas of work, including having representation at guideline development meetings and forums. As part of OTDT’s commitment to the corporation’s strategic focus on engagement and its leadership in the national donation and transplantation systems, the program seeks to integrate engagement efforts more systematically into its committees and initiatives such that engagement becomes an additional pillar of our work.   

Next steps

  • A set of Guiding Principles have been developed to outline the program's philosophy with respect to engagement. These Principles will be reviewed evolve and expand over time as part of a process of continuous improvement.  
  • Development of tools and training for staff and collaborators.
  • An initial approach to engagement is focused on specific initiatives and committee/working group opportunities. This includes recruiting advisors for participation in project forums and established committees.  
  • As new initiatives are identified, project-specific engagement strategies will be developed and incorporated into the overall planning process. 
  • Similarly, it is anticipated that advisor representation will expand to more OTDT committees over time.  

For more information contact