April 01, 2015

Partnering to Improve Quality and Safety: A Framework for Working with Patient and Family Advisors


Partnering to Improve Quality and Safety: A Framework for Working with Patient and Family Advisors To truly transform care, hospitals and care systems must effectively engage patients and their families. This guide presents a framework for one powerful way to engage patients – as advisors on quality and patient safety initiatives. The Symposium for Leaders in Healthcare Quality developed this guide to help hospitals and care systems build and sustain partnerships with patient and family advisors, specifically to improve quality and safety. Health care leaders have an opportunity to use the insights and expertise of patient and family advisors to accelerate the pace of transformation in pursuit of the Triple Aim—better care, better health and lower cost.

This guide notes that to establish effective partnerships, hospital leaders must successfully:

1) recruit patient and family advisors,

2) prepare the advisors for improvement work,

3) create a culture of engagement,

4) implement improvement initiatives and measure impact, and

5) sustain the relationships over the course of many projects.

This guide provides specific strategies and checklists to accomplish these five goals.

The guide concludes that "hospitals and health care systems cannot afford to ignore the preferences and expectations of patients. Nor can they ignore the experience, knowledge and insights of patients . . . Partnering with patients to improve care leads to improved outcomes and creates trusting relationships within the community.

Visit the Symposium for Leaders in Healthcare Quality (SLHQ) for more information.