Final Report – Improving the Francophone Experience in Healthcare

Project - Improving the Francophone Experience in Healthcare

In 2018, the Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario (Réseau) received funding for a project on Francophone experience and more specifically, on improving their experience with health care services in Northern Ontario.

In the context of the project, we collected experiences from Francophone patients in order to validate the needs that have often been identified by Francophones regarding access and equity of French language health services. This data has allowed us to create resources to better equip health service providers to provide culturally competent care.

This document consists of a summary of the results of the meetings and discussions with Francophones from different regions of Northern Ontario as well as solutions, tools and resources to support health service providers in improving the active offer of health services in French.

We would like to thank the health service providers and Francophones who volunteered to participate in this project. We would like to acknowledge the collaboration and support of Health Ontario North in carrying out this project, as well as the financial support of Health Canada, as part of the Roadmap for Official Languages.


The project Improving the Francophone Experience in Health Care adopted an experience-based design approach that was popularized by the NHS (formerly National Health System), the United Kingdom’s world-famous health care provider. This approach consists of using people’s experiences to discover new perspectives in order to design better health care services that are genuinely person-centered. The approach involves four steps:

Steps Purpose of tools used
1 Capture the experience Help people tell their stories
2 Understand the experience Understand the experience of individuals and health professionals
3 Improve the experience Convert experience into practical action
4 Measure the improvement of the experience Assess and measure  improvement

The objective of the experience-based design approach is to propose solutions to improve the experience of individuals and caregivers on the basis of their stories as they are the ones using the health care system.

Tool used

We adapted a one-page NHS questionnaire that we translated and tailored for individuals and caregivers surveyed in the project. Through the use of a bilingual questionnaire,  participants were asked to identify service access points encountered when receiving health care service, the emotions they experienced at each of these key moments and the reason underlying these emotions. Emoticons were placed alongside the proposed emotions to facilitate the selection of one or more emotions.