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Consumer Engagement: Get On Board

Posted By Mark Alpert, Monday, March 31, 2014
Updated: Friday, June 6, 2014
Consumer engagement is essential if we are going to continue to make progress in patient safety and health care quality.

by Patricia McTiernan

Last week the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute released its latest report, Safety Is Personal: Partnering with Patients and Families for the Safest Care. The report is the result of two roundtable meetings convened by the Institute that included representatives of consumer advocacy organizations, health care systems, academia, and the policy world. And therein lies one of the finer lessons of the report: the best ideas come from a diverse mix of perspectives.

The Institute—and really all of us, as we will all be patients one day—owe our thanks to the 14 consumer advocates (noted with ♦ in the list below) who contributed to this work. Through this report, their perspectives—and those of all of the roundtable participants–help to map the future of what health care can become.

The report goes well beyond some of the good but narrow efforts taking place so far. It looks first at the case for patient and family engagement and the barriers that exist to such collaboration, and then paints the picture of what our health care system might look like with true and complete consumer involvement.

Is consumer engagement the right thing to do to improve patient safety? Absolutely. But beyond that nicety, the report also summarizes evidence that shows engaging patients and families can reduce the costs of health care (by reducing unwanted care) and increase patient satisfaction (which is essential today to any health care organization that wants to remain in business).

Moreover, the report looks beyond the patient-provider level to address system-wide efforts that must take place if the patient perspective is going to be recognized and respected. Getting there will require leadership, training, process redesign, and new ways of thinking. As the authors write in the Preface,

Many of these recommendations are not new, nor are they the province of any particular interest group or organization; rather, they draw from the growing evidence about the power of engagement, and seek to build on what we know can work to reduce adverse events. Driven by a sense of urgency, the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute hopes this report serves as a call to action for leaders of health care organizations, health care professionals, patients and their families, and the public.

The essential message is, get on board with this, because consumer engagement is essential if we are going to continue to make progress in patient safety and health care quality.

The NPSF Lucian Leape Institute Roundtable on Consumer Engagement in Patient Safety

Barbara M. Balik, RN, EdD
Common Fire Healthcare Consulting

Michael J. Barry, MD
Informed Medical Decisions Foundation

Anne C. Beal, MD, MPH
Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Doug Bonacum, MBA, BS
Vice President, Quality, Safety, and Resource Management
Kaiser Permanente

Carolyn C. Brady♦
CBrady Consulting

Shannon Brownlee, MS
Senior Vice President, Lown Institute
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

Sophia Chang, MD, MPH
Director, Better Chronic Disease Care
California Healthcare Foundation

Alide L. Chase, MS
Senior Vice President, Quality and Service
Kaiser Permanente

James B. Conway, MS
Adjunct Lecturer
Harvard School of Public Health

Ilene Corina♦
Patient Safety Consultant
Founder & President

Thomas Gallagher, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Washington, School of Medicine

Lillee Gelinas, RN, BSN, MSN, FAAN
System Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Christus Health

Rosemary Gibson, MSc♦
Senior Program Officer, Health Care Group
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Jessie Gruman, PhD♦
Center for Advancing Health

Helen Haskell, MA♦
Founder & President
Mothers Against Medical Error

Martha Hayward♦
Lead, Public & Patient Engagement
Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Beverley H. Johnson♦
President & Chief Executive Officer
Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care

Donald W. Kemper, MPH
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Healthwise Incorporated

Linda K. Kenney♦
President & Executive Director
Medically-Induced Trauma Support Services

Carol Levine, MA♦
Director, Families and Health Care Project
United Hospital Fund

David Lorber, MD
Vice President, Clinical Affairs
Walgreen Co.

Lauren Murray♦
Deputy Director, Consumer Engagement and Community Outreach
National Partnership for Women & Families

Gail A. Nielsen, BSHCA
Director, Learning & Innovation
Center for Clinical Transformation
Iowa Health System

Michael O’Reilly, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology and
Perioperative Care
University of California Irvine

Diane C. Pinakiewicz, MBA, CPPS
Distinguished Advisor
National Patient Safety Foundation

Joshua J. Seidman, PhD
President, Society for Participatory Medicine
Consultant, Brookings Institution

Karen R. Sepucha, PhD
Director, Health Decision Sciences Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Dale Shaller, MPA
Shaller Consulting

Sue Sheridan, MBA, MIM♦
Director of Patient Engagement
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Jill Steinbruegge, MD, PhD, ABHM
Senior Vice President for Leadership & Innovation
America’s Essential Hospitals

Kalahn Taylor-Clark, PhD, MPH♦
Assistant Professor, Health Administration and Policy
Senior Advisor, Center for Health Policy, Research, and Ethis
George Mason University

Charles Vincent, PhD
Director, Clinical Risk Unit
St. Mary’s Hospital London

Deborah W. Wachenheim, MPP♦
Health Quality Manager
Health Care for All

John H. Wasson, MD
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Dartmouth Medical School

Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Tufts Medical Center

Britt W. Wendelboe♦
Head of Office
Danish Society for Patient Safety

Richard Wexler, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Informed Medical Decisions Foundation

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