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Article Title

Formalizing and Optimizing Patient Engagement in a Large Health Care System

Publication Date

8-15-2016

Keywords

patient engagement, learning health care system

Abstract

Background/Aims: Patient engagement and patient-centeredness have become catchphrases used as core principles in reference to the Affordable Care Act, the Learning Healthcare System workshop, value-driven care and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Patient engagement is not a new concept; in 2001, the Institute of Medicine defined patient- and family-centered care as care based on continuous healing relationships, customized according to patient needs and values, patient control, information equipoise, transparency and anticipation of patient needs. Increased attention is also being paid to include patient-defined outcomes, demonstrated shared decision-making and patient assessed value in their care as benchmarks for reimbursement.

Methods: At Geisinger Health System, we have developed a framework to guide patient engagement across the continuum of care and in research and discovery to meet the strategic aim of enhancing the experience and quality of care for patients and their families. We have launched several initiatives and working groups to improve engagement of patients, families and clinical stakeholders to continue evolving as a learning health care system. Initiatives include assessment of existing expertise to assist in engagement across the research continuum, multiple advisory boards and development of purposeful community engagement activities. Workgroups developed include project-specific patient advisory committees, a patient engagement workgroup comprised of stakeholders across research and health care operations, and workgroups to design specific engagement tasks such as symposia and knowledge assessments regarding the learning health care system environment.

Results: We will present the overarching framework and strategies developed by the patient engagement workgroup and share materials and strategies employed to encourage meaningful patient engagement in study design, measures, analysis and conclusions. Strategies include pre-engagement activities, identifying patient research partners, supporting patient partners and defining the role of patient partners in dissemination and implementation.

Conclusion: Effective patient and family engagement in research depends on adequate technical, programmatic and human resources that collectively constitute an integral infrastructure.

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