Empowering Patients to Better Manage their Health Results in Improved Health and Health Care

    • March 10, 2014

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a suite of materials—including a brief, videos, case studies, and more—to help health care professionals better engage patients to manage their own health and play a role in improving care delivery at the practice and system levels.

Research shows that patients who lack the skills and confidence to manage their own health care often require more of it and incur higher health care costs.

“Patients who are actively engaged in their own health care are more likely to stay healthy and manage their conditions," said Susan Mende, senior program officer at RWJF. "It is important for physicians and their teams to work with patients to ensure they have the knowledge and confidence necessary to take control of their own health—where most health decisions happen—outside of the examination room."

The RWJF package highlights how health care professionals across the country are engaging patients at all levels to improve care, from hosting disease self-management workshops to including patients on practice quality improvement teams.

“Patient engagement isn’t only about patients’ ability to engage in their own health or quality improvement projects,” said Jessica Osborne-Safsnes, project co-director of Aligning Forces Humboldt, Calif. “It’s also about how ready an organization is to work with patients on these projects.”

The materials also include a resource guide and interview with Safsnes and a colleague about their successful patient engagement efforts. The resources are part of the Aligning Forces for Quality "Quality Field Notes" series highlighting lessons learned by regional alliances of clinicians, patients, and payers to transform local health care and provide models for national reform.



For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937