Report

Evidence Boost: A Review of Research Highlighting How Patient Engagement Contributes to Improved Care

G. Ross Baker, Ph.D.
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
University of Toronto

Improving patient experience and incorporating patient input into the design of healthcare services have emerged as critical priorities for many healthcare systems but progress has been limited. Greater engagement of patients and families in organizational roles and care teams has helped a number of healthcare organizations to improve quality, safety and patient experience. Insights from exemplar organizations suggest broader opportunities to improve health system performance. This brief provides a context and summary of research findings on case studies of patient engagement for health system improvement across organizations in four countries.

Key Findings
  • Many organizations have discovered that involving patients and families in quality improvement, patient safety and service redesign initiatives accelerates both patient engagement and the work of improvement teams. 
  •  Patient engagement in improvement efforts may improve outcomes. 
  •  Effective patient and family-centered care and engagement require changes in values and relationships, but these, in turn, depend on creating structures, roles and policies that support these values and relationships. 
  •  Successful patient engagement initiatives had staff that managed local work effectively and communicated its importance, relevance and contributions to leadership. 
  • Leadership for patient engagement and to develop patient and family- centered care is critical to its success.