Days Left

It was not in the usual way that privacy advisor Shelley Lefebvre found out about Maya’s problem. And it wasn’t really her job to follow up on a solution – after all, the initial problem had been pretty much solved, hadn’t it?

Maya was a patient advisor speaking at an Improvement Workshop led by the Design Lab’s Marlies van Dijk. Maya has diabetes and suffered a stroke as a child, paralyzing the right side of her body and making the quarterly one and a half hour round-trip transit commute to the Diabetic Clinic a huge inconvenience. Maya wanted to know why the clinic could not email appointment times but was told that it was a patient privacy policy that information couldn’t be emailed.

Long story short – Maya persevered, kept asking why and eventually was able to receive her appointment times via an encrypted email. Problem solved, right? Great story.


See - as she was closing her presentation, Maya casually mentioned that she wished she could read her emails on her smart phone, but because of the encryption software she could only view the email on her desktop computer – which wasn’t really convenient for an outdoor enthusiast like Maya. She wasn’t specifically requesting that anyone solve the encryption issue, it was just off the cuff that she happened to mention it.

And Shelley thought – there has to be a way.

It’s not usual that a privacy advisor would hear of a problem directly from a patient. There are rules and guidelines and policies that surround the process of solving problems and typically these types of issues go through a staff member or program contacts before they get to Privacy. Shelley could have let the smart phone encryption issue go and no one would have faulted her for it.

But Shelley is that different breed of person, the kind that goes the extra mile. In fact, Shelley had recently pledged that very thing – to go the extra mile – for Change Day 2017. But she never realized how soon she’d have the opportunity to put her pledge into action.

“I couldn’t find an easy fix so I did a little digging and found on Insite that there was a work around. I did a bit of testing to make sure it would work and emailed Maya with the steps,” Shelley recalls. “Even though Maya did not come to me or specifically request a solution to this issue, I still wanted to know why it was not possible – for goodness sake, its 2017! It should be possible!”

And, as it turns out, Shelley was right. Maya is now happily gallivanting and conveniently receiving all her emailed appointment notifications on her smart phone.

“For me, it was pretty easy – just took a little looking into. But I think that’s the larger message of Maya’s story, that instead of assuming the answer is ‘no’, we can say ‘let me look into it’. It didn’t take too long,” she laughs, “in fact, it was the easiest mile I ever pledged!”

Go here to pledge your extra mile – or anything else you’d like to change! Be sure to pledge before November 17th, as that’s the day we celebrate this year’s campaign.