Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families

Research shows that when patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. To promote stronger engagement, MedStar Health and Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is developing a guide to help patients, families, and health professionals in primary care settings work together as partners to promote improvements in care.

 

About This Project

Patient and family engagement (PFE) is an evolving concept in health care transformation and has been described as the "blockbuster drug" of the 21st Century."1 A growing body of evidence suggests that PFE can improve the safety and quality of care delivery.2–6 Building sustainable processes and practice- based infrastructure is crucial to improving patient safety by PFE in primary care.

This 38-month project started in September 2015 and will develop four interventions aimed at engaging patients and families as partners in primary care with the goal of improving patient safety. The interventions will be released individually and as part of a comprehensive guide for medium and large primary care practices to adopt as part of their practice improvement efforts. The guide will be field tested in 12 primary care practices and revised based on patient, provider, and primary care practice staff feedback.

This project will generate a number of resources to help primary care practices, primary care providers, and patients increase PFE in care. These resources include:

 

  • Environmental scan report describing approaches to engage patients and families in primary care settings and how engagement leads to improved safety.
  • Case studies on exemplar practices that have increased PFE in primary care and affected patient safety.
  • Four interventions and accompanying instructional materials for primary care practices to adopt aimed at engaging patients and families to improve patient safety.
  • Comprehensive guide of interventions, instructional materials, and guidance for adoption and measurement of success.

 

These resources will be made available to primary care practices, providers, and patients as they are developed over the 38-month project.

 

For more information contact:

 

 

References

 

1. Dentzer S. Rx for the "blockbuster drug" of patient engagement. Health Aff (Millwood) 2013;32(2):202.

2. Herrin J, Harris KG, Kenward K, et al. Patient and family engagement: a survey of US hospital practices. BMJ Qual Saf 2016 Mar;25(3):182-9. Epub 2015 Jun 16. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004006.

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