8 hospital actions for stronger patient engagement

As healthcare shifts toward value-based care, patient engagement, experience and satisfaction are more important than ever as consumers seek to become a bigger part of their own care.

With that in mind, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a private grantmaking organization, along with the American Institutes for Research, released a "Roadmap for Patient and Family Engagement in Healthcare Practice and Research." The report looks to fill the gap of providing unified care and foster sustainable actions for how to partner with patients and families to improve care delivery.

"As the U.S. healthcare system tackles the Triple Aim of better experiences of care, better population health and lower costs, it is imperative for health professionals to meaningfully partner with patients and families," said Dominick Frosch, Ph.D., fellow at the foundation, said in a statement.

The report includes eight strategies to improve patient experience and outcomes, as well as reduce costs:

  1. Educate patients and family members by tailoring communication approaches to support the patients needs. For example, translate medical information in plain language for the patient or implement a patient navigator program at your facility to create more support for the family. 

  2. Teach clinicians and leaders to partner effectively with patients and families. Provide ongoing opportunities to physicians for learning, observation and hands-on practice when it comes to engaging patients, and alert them to community resources to facilitate partnerships outside the healthcare system. 

  3. Redesign care and system processes, policies and structures to provide opportunities for and support of partnerships between patients, families and the healthcare team. Create individual care plans that reflect the patient's healthcare goals, using data to identify patients who have an increased need for support. Provide coaching to help patients meet those goals.  

  4. Create new partnerships within the organization so patients and families become part of the governance structure. Create clear lines of reporting for direct contact between patient advisers and leadership, and dedicate staff to oversee work with patient and family advisers. 

  5. Develop measures and conduct research to improve care, facilitate changes in processes and assess the relationships between outcomes, patient experiences and engagement. Develop patient-centered measures of cost and value, and explore methods that collect personalized data regarding patient experience. For example, use video to capture interactions and observations.

  6. Make data and information transparent to promote organizational accountability for quality, safety and enabling patients and families to be active in their care. Use portals that allow patients to access their electronic health records anywhere, along with interactive tools that allow them to make corrections. Make sure they can include information that's important to them, such as goals of care. 

  7. Endorse legislation and regulation that encourages patient and family engagement. Align incentives and penalties to support patient engagement and require patient and family engagement competencies for certification or accreditation. 

  8. Become partners in public policy by identifiying and providing opportunities to integrate patient and family perspectives into public policy. For example, create a citizen council to provide input about what health plans should cover and conduct a public deliberation session to get input on specific policy concerns. 

To learn more:
- here's the roadmap (.pdf)
- check out the statement