Family experience with healthcare services and treatments

How family members rated how often their loved one received all the care and services they need. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does understanding the family member experience matter when considering how often their loved one receives necessary healthcare services and treatments?
  • Are there differences between zones? Between providers? Between mainly rural and urban zones or sites? What factors could account for these differences?

Whether you’re a resident, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “family experience with healthcare services and treatments”

In a survey conducted from May to October 2017, the HQCA asked family members of residents living in long term care:

In the last 6 months, how often did your family member receive all of the healthcare services and treatments they needed?

Family members could choose “Never / Sometimes / Usually / Always”

Considerations when viewing the results:           

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve family members’ rating of how often they felt their loved one received all the healthcare services and treatment they needed. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • What are family members thinking about when considering “healthcare services and treatments?” How might family members view “healthcare services and treatments” differently than providers? Than residents? Once the needs and expectations are better understood, how could available healthcare services and treatments be improved to better address resident needs?
  • How do family members stay informed about what healthcare services are available to their loved one and their frequency? What options are available to family members if they want more of the available services or treatments for their loved one, or other services not provided by the site?
  • How do family members stay informed about their loved one’s preferred healthcare services and treatments?
  • How might the care planning process impact this result? The basket of healthcare services and treatments a resident needs may be part of the resident’s care plan, the document that outlines a resident’s needs and preferences. A care plan is developed in collaboration with a registered nurse and healthcare team, the resident, their family member where appropriate, and the resident’s physician. How is the care planning process completed, managed, and updated? How do family members stay engaged with this process?
  • Which Long Term Care Accommodation Standard(s) does this question help inform, if any?
  • Which Continuing Care Health Service Standard(s) does this question help inform, if any?
  • Who should be involved in discussions to improve these results? How could residents and/or family members be engaged to develop solutions (e.g., engage the resident and family council)? What other collaboration might be required to make improvements in this area?

For information about the HQCA’s long term care family experience survey, please visit the HQCA website.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess long-term care’s performance in these dimensions of quality:


Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety