Quality Field Notes: Engaging Patients Improves Health and Health 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 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.

More Quality Field Notes

Resources on Increasing Patient Engagement

 A doctor talks to a patient in an exam room.

Case Studies for Engaging Patients in Care

This set of case studies explores how five Aligning Forces for Quality communities engaged patients in their care.

See what AF4Q communities are doing
Quality Field Notes: Patient Engagement Interview Photos

An Interview With Jessica Osborne-Stafsnes and Melissa Jones

We sat down with Jessica Osborne-Stafsnes, project co-director, and Melissa Jones, project director for Aligning Forces Humboldt, to discuss insights into engaging patients.

Read the interview
 Health Leads; two women and baby in medical office

Patient Engagement Resource Guide

This resource guide provides additional information for patients and clinicians on enhancing patient engagement.

Check out more tools on patient engagement
A Multidimensional Framework for Patient and Family Engagement in Health and Health Care

Patient Engagement Framework

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

Review the framework