Bridgepoint Health

Priorities in Hospital Volunteerism

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Dr. Michelle Nelson is leading a 5 year research program focused on patient centred hospital volunteerism.  The overarching goal of the research program is to identify, design and test strategies to maximize the potential of hospital volunteerism by addressing the challenge and needs of patients with complex, chronic illnesses.  These strategies will be tested within Bridgepoint and other complex care environments.

Study Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this study is to identify and prioritize common issues, questions or concerns regarding hospital volunteerism. This identification of common topics of interest will inform a research agenda, ultimately guiding the development of best practice volunteer programs for improved patient experience and patient outcomes. The study objectives are to:

  • Identify common issues, questions or concerns regarding volunteerism within each of the participating hospital organizations
  • Identify common issues, questions or concerns between participating hospitals serving diverse patient populations
  • Reach consensus on topics of interest as research priorities for hospital volunteerism

As part of this work, Dr. Nelson is co-chairing the Manulife-Bridgepoint Healthcare Volunteerism Council (The Council). The Council has been assembled to share knowledge and foster collaborative work effort to understand the elements of best practice volunteer programs that meet patients' needs. The Council is comprised of representatives from four Ontario hospitals (SickKids Hospital, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), St. Mary's General Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare) as well as representatives from Manulife, the Council's sponsor. Each of the hospitals has agreed to participate as research sites for this research project. The Council serves as the central hub for a broader knowledge network. This network is designed "to share knowledge and foster collaborative work related to the development of best practice volunteer programs designed to positively impact patient experience and health outcomes".

The findings will support future collaborative work for the Council and broader network.

Researcher: Michelle Nelson

Funders: Manulife