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Study Shows More Engagement Results in Positive Health Outcomes

May 29, 2018

When patients and their families understand and engage in their health care, they have better outcomes and a more positive experience. A recently published JAMA Network study found that when patients and health care providers were primed for a conversation about a patient’s treatment plan, the chance that a goals-of-care conversation occurred was higher.

The study followed 132 physicians and 537 patients between 2012 and 2016. During this time, patients that were specifically primed for a conversation with their health care provider reported significant increase in patient-reported goals-of-care conversations during routine outpatient clinic visits. Seventy-four percent of the intervention group reported having the goals-of-care conversation compared to only 31 percent of the usual care group.

The study noted that physicians caring for patients with a serious illness experienced more effective treatment, better quality of life, and reduced intensity of care at the end of life when fostering improved patient engagement. Despite this information, physicians frequently do not have conversations with their patients about the prognosis and goals of care.

HAP has become a recognized national leader in fostering improved patient engagement in Pennsylvania. Through its Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), participating hospitals are incorporating principles of patient-centric care into quality improvement projects to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. In addition, HAP’s HIIN developed a Person- and Family-Engagement Leadership Council to provide a collaborative forum for participating hospitals to improve patient engagement efforts by exchanging best practices and developing resources and tools designed to help operationalize a culture of patient centeredness.

On June 4, leaders and care providers from hospitals across Pennsylvania will participate in a one-day program aimed at providing safe, high quality, patient-centric care that increases patient satisfaction while improving quality of care and payment and delivery models. Person and Family Engagement: How Do We Get There From Here? Tackling 5 PFE Metrics to Improve the Value of Patient Care will look at five metrics hospitals can address to improve positive health outcomes, including:

  • Using pre-admission checklists and health literacy techniques to improve communication
  • Managing difficult conversations during physician rounds and nurse bedside shift report
  • Appointing leaders to drive person and family engagement in the acute care hospital setting
  • Challenges, achievements, and lessons learned in development and implementation of Patient and Family Engagement Advisory Councils (PFAC)
  • Inviting the patient into the board room

Space is still available to attend this informative event, but registration closes on June 1.

HAP also has led several efforts to increase engagement with patients and their families. HAP has worked closely with National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) to offer Engage for Health. This program features resources aimed at improving health literacy by explaining health care terms, providing tools to track treatments, and tips on creating an open dialogue between the patient and the care team.

For more information about HAP’s work on person and family engagement or the upcoming conference, contact Janette Bisbee, HAP’s project manager. Additional information about Engage for Health is available by contacting HAP’s Jennifer Collins, director, public affairs.

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