Quality Field Notes: Engaging Patients Improves Health and Health Care

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King County employees enjoy a strength training class located in the basement of their offices.
  1. King County employees enjoy a strength training class located in the basement of their offices.

    Aligning Forces for Quality--South Central Pennsylvania implemented a Patient Partner program, where patients serve as members of their practices' quality improvement teams to improve care.
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  2. Cardiac arrest

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Aligning Forces for Quality--South Central Pennsylvania implemented a Patient Partner program, where patients serve as members of their practices' quality improvement teams to improve care.
Aligning Forces for Quality--South Central Pennsylvania implemented a Patient Partner program, where patients serve as members of their practices' quality improvement teams to improve care.

Aligning Forces for Quality--South Central Pennsylvania implemented a Patient Partner program, where patients serve as members of their practices' quality improvement teams to improve care.

People who are actively involved in their health care are the most likely to stay healthy, manage their conditions, and, potentially, have lower health care costs.

Patients without the skills and confidence to manage their own health care incur costs of up to 21 percent higher than patients who are highly engaged in their care. In Aligning Forces for Quality communities, patients are engaged at all levels to improve both their personal health and the health care delivered in their communities.

This issue brief, and related resources, presents key lessons about what’s working to improve the quality and value of health care by engaging patients.

Key Lessons

  • Programs that encourage collaboration among patients can help teach them to better manage their own health.

  • Although doctors may be reluctant to make their practices transparent, involving patients in quality improvement efforts can generate valuable insights and better processes.

  • Engaging patients to influence health care systems or policy takes both time and resources, but is critical for true culture change.

Related Content

Multidimensional Framework

This flowchart provides a multidimensional framework for patient and family engagement in health and health care.

Download flowchart