Redesigning health care systems to improve patient care requires rethinking how doctors and other health care professionals understand the roles of patients and their families—regardless of where the interaction takes place. Whether in an ICU setting, during a preventive check-up or at home, patients and families are not consistently engaged as true partners and lack the support necessary to actively participate in their own health care.
Almost half of U.S. patients report that their physicians do not always tell them about their treatment options or involve them in decisions about their treatment. And, 26 percent of hospitalized patients report that clinicians fail to explain medication use prior to giving it to them, making it more challenging to adhere to the regimens when returning home. This lack of engagement can lead not only to clinical harm, but result in a loss of respect and dignity and care that is inconsistent with the wishes and values of patients and their families.
Our vision is to partner with other organizations to pave the way for the broad adoption of meaningful patient and family engagement. Working together, we will demonstrate its value, remove barriers and encourage the adoption of engagement strategies that work.
As we put this strategy to work, we will focus on:
Focusing on these aspects of the work will enable effective interventions to be put into practice and help change the culture of health care to one that recognizes the value and seeks true partnership with patients and their families.