Eight Strategies to Drive Patient Engagement and Improve Healthcare Delivery

Patient experience and satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important aspect of providing healthcare, and a new roadmap outlines opportunities and key strategies to include patients and families in healthcare delivery.

Patient experience and satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important aspect of providing healthcare, and successfully incorporating them requires building strong partnerships between patients and providers.

In an effort to increase patient and family engagement in healthcare, the American Institutes for Research and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation released the “Roadmap for Patient and Family Engagement in Healthcare Practice and Research,” which highlights opportunities to improve healthcare delivery.

“As the US 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,” Dominick Frosch, PhD, fellow at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, said in a statement. “The evidence on the benefits of patient and family engagement is so compelling that it has been called the ‘blockbuster drug of the century’ and it’s why we are working to advance this field, beginning with this Roadmap.”

The Roadmap was built on evidence, knowledge, and experience from 70 individuals and 60 organizations representing patients, healthcare professionals, payers, purchasers, and policy makers. It includes simple actions that can be taken to partner clinicians with patients and their families, according to Kristin Carman, vice president of the Health and Social Development program at the American Institute for Research.

The Roadmap includes 8 key strategies for meaningful engagement to improve patient experience of care as well as health outcomes while reducing costs:

1. Educate and empower patients and family members to engage effectively in their health.

2. Educate and prepare clinicians and health leaders to partner effectively with patients and families.

3. Redesign system processes, policies, and structures to support partnerships.

4. Redesign healthcare organizations to include patients and families.

5. Create measures and conduct research to improve care, facilitate change, and assess how outcomes, experiences and engagement relate.

6. Make data and information transparent for quality and safety accountability, so patients and families can be active in their healthcare.

7. Use regulation and legislation to encourage patient and family engagement.

8. Provide opportunities to integrate patient and family perspectives in public policy.

These 8 strategies identify priority areas for action to advance patient and family engagement. They represent opportunities for growth and reflect areas where improvements can drive progress toward key engagement-related outcomes.

However, while the 8 key strategies are long-term goals to work toward, the Roadmap also includes 5 simple actions that can be accomplished today by each group involved: patients, clinicians, organizations, leaders, insurers, employers, and researchers.

“Partnering with patients and their families can lead to improvements in patient safety and quality, better patient experience and satisfaction, healthcare workforce satisfaction and retention, better health outcomes, and lower healthcare costs,” Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, said in a statement.