Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Research shows that when patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality.  To promote stronger engagement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed a guide to help patients, families, and health professionals work together as partners to promote improvements in care. This guide focuses on four primary strategies for promoting patient/family engagement in hospital safety and quality of care:

  • Encourage patients and family members to participate as advisors.
  • Promote better communication among patients, family members, and health care professionals from the point of admission.
  • Implement safe continuity of care by keeping the patient and family informed through nurse bedside change-of-shift reports.
  • Engage patients and families in discharge planning throughout the hospital stay.

Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety provides clear direction that health care leaders, delivery organizations, and associations can use to make significant advances toward safer care and reduced harm across the continuum of care. This resource also includes a Self-Assessment Tool & Implementation Resource Guide. Resource also includes case examples on engaging patients and families in safety.

Hospital Roadmap for Person and Family Engagement (PFE): Achieving the Five PFE Best Practices to Improve Patient Safety and Health Equity

American Institutes for Research (AIR)/IPRO HQIC

This PFE Roadmap provides practical guidance to help hospitals implement five PFE best practices:

  1. Implementation of a planning checklist for patients who have a planned admission
  2. Implementation of a discharge planning checklist
  3. Conducting shift change huddles and bedside reporting with patients and families
  4. Designation of a PFE leader in the hospital
  5. Active Person and Family Engagement Committee or other committees where patients are represented and report to the board

All-Cause Harm Resource

This resource explains what All-Cause Harm is, why it is important and then dives into each of the processes it takes to prevent All-Cause Harm. Eight priority focus areas for the Hospital Quality Improvement Contract (HQIC) are illuminated and strategies to monitor compliance are provided.

All-Cause Harm Resource, Recording and Slides from the IPRO HQIC All-Cause Harm “launch” on March 29th, 2021.

Partnering with Patients and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

American Institutes for Research (AIR) and IPRO Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC)

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the IPRO HQIC hosted the March 2021 Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) webinar, titled Partnering with Patients and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

During this 45-minute interactive event, the AIR team provided an overview of five PFE best practices and described how engaging patient and families can help both patients and clinical staff address the emergency. The event featured real-world examples of how hospitals are partnering with patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will include time for a discussion among attendees about opportunities and lessons learned in partnering with patients and families around this all-consuming crisis.

Webinar Materials:

March 30: Partnering with Patients and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic – IPRO QIN-QIO

Opioid Stewardship: IPRO HQIC, Learning and Action Network (LAN)

IPRO Hospital Quality Improvement (HQIC), Learning and Action Network (LAN) webinar on the All-Cause Harm focus are of Opioid Stewardship: April 26th 2021.

IPRO HQIC presented aggregate baseline data on the Opioid Stewardship Hospital Baseline Assessment and heard from a rural hospital on promoting the safe use of opioids (prescribing policy, scripted communication tools, alternatives to opioids, tracking prescribing practices, referral network for pain management, and MAT therapy).

In addition, IPRO HQIC highlight many salient opioid stewardship resources on processes that support the inclusion of patient and family engagement and health equity (stigma) in opioid stewardship efforts. These resources further support IPRO HQIC hospital efforts in All-Cause Harm reduction.

Recording, Slides and All-Cause Harm Resource available.

Patient Family Advisory Councils Toolkit

Colorado Hospital Association

With the shift in the health care landscape from volume to value, more hospitals are engaging patients in their everyday hospital activities. Like any profession, learning from the consumer can provide great insight on how to provide better service. Integrating patient and family advisory councils (PFACs) within the hospital setting is an excellent approach to learn from patients and increase the quality of care delivered in a hospital. The toolkit underscores PFAC support with quality and safety, patient satisfaction, patient outcomes and market share.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, In Plain Language

American Institutes for Research (AIR)

AIR has created a plain-language FAQ document that addresses a variety of topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions were drawn from numerous reliable government sources. The document was developed as a resource for schools, day cares, healthcare organizations, and other public centers to distribute. It is designed to make this information accessible and comprehensible to everyone, regardless of education level or background. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese.

Partnering with Patients and Families to Strengthen Approaches to the Opioid Epidemic

Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care (IPFCC)

This whitepaper showcases the many opportunities for patients, families, and individuals with lived experience to collaborate in shaping and implementing policies and programs related to the opioid epidemic. While work in this area is evolving, several “spotlight examples” provide a starting point for thinking about new strategies and opportunities and reflect existing structures that can be utilized and expanded to accelerate the process of building meaningful partnerships.

How Patient and Family Advisory Councils Can Help Hospitals and Their Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

American Institutes for Research (AIR)/IPRO HQIC

COVID-19 is a perfect issue for PFACs to address. The experiences of patients and families can have a direct impact on how the hospital safely treats those with severe cases including those in isolation, prevents the spread of the virus, and minimizes the impact of the virus on health care and health outcomes (e.g., delayed care). This resource provides suggestions about how PFACs can help hospitals proactively communicate, educate, and engage with patients and families and the larger community to build trust and deliver high-quality care during a time of uncertainty and fear.

Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge)

Project RED is supported by grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHBLI), the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Hospital based care transition model that coordinates the patient’s discharge plan throughout the hospitalization and then provides a post-acute discharge guide and follow-up telephone calls.

Project Re-Engineered Discharge is a research group at Boston University Medical Center that develops and tests strategies to improve the hospital discharge process in a way that promotes patient safety and reduces re-hospitalization rates. The RED (re-engineered discharge) intervention is founded on 12 discrete, mutually reinforcing components and has been proven to reduce rehospitalizations and yields high rates of patient satisfaction.  Virtual patient advocates are currently being tested in conjunction with the RED. In addition, Project RED has started to implement the re-engineered discharge at other hospitals serving diverse patient populations. We are also looking at the transitional needs from inpatient to outpatient care of specific populations (i.e., those with depressive symptoms). Finally, we are about to start a patient-centered project to create a tool that hospitals can use to discover factors (i.e., medical legal, social, etc.) in patients’ readmissions.

Your Guide to Controlling & Managing Pain After Surgery

MHA Keystone Center

Provides education to patients related to:

  • Understanding surgical pain
  • Understanding pain after surgery
  • Questions to ask before surgery, after surgery and before discharge
  • Tools to help manage pain
  • Keeping track of pain medications and frequency
  • Common pain medication side effects

GRACE Team Care Model: Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE)

Agency Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) & Indiana University School of Medicine’s Center for Aging Research

Designed as a promising solution to the health and health care challenges faced by low-income seniors with multiple chronic conditions, researchers at Indiana University developed the GRACE Team Care model  to assist primary care physicians (PCPs) working with low-income seniors to optimize health and functional status, decrease excess usage of health care services, and prevent unnecessary long-term nursing home placement.

Strategically Advancing Patient and Family Advisory Councils in New York State Hospitals

Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care (IPFCC)

The purpose of this project is to address gaps in knowledge about PFAC best practices. Specifically, the project aims to:

  1. Determine the prevalence of hospital-based PFACs in New York State;
  2. Document variation in hospital-based PFACs within New York State, including identifying differences in characteristics such as composition, structure, resources, management, and functioning;
  3. Assess the extent to which differences in hospital-based PFAC characteristics are related to selected outcomes, including safety and patient experience of care;
  4. Identify best practices for PFACs; and
  5. Recommend policy and practice changes for New York State to facilitate the spread of effective PFACs and PFA roles in hospitals