Early Experiences with Consumer Engagement Initiatives to Improve Chronic Care

Engaging consumers to be more active participants in their health and health care is an appealing strategy for reforming the U.S. health care system, but little is known about how to mount and sustain communitywide consumer engagement initiatives. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched a program in 2006 in 14 communities to align forces around improving quality and efficiency by promoting public reporting and expanding the involvement of consumers in all facets of their care. These multistakeholder organizations provide an early glimpse into the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as policy-makers attempt to integrate consumers more completely in their reform strategies.