Symposium on Patient Engagement (District of Columbia)

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Summary:

The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) is a national group of nursing organizations that, along with patient care advocacy organizations, are committed to advancing the highest quality, safety, and value of consumer-centered health care. NAQC identified the need to study nurses’ roles and skills that foster patient engagement and the need for a strategic plan to enhance nurses’ abilities to engage and support patients in advancing their own values and preferences as they make decisions about health and health care. This project held a consensus conference in November 2012 to discuss nurse’s roles and to develop such a strategic plan. After the symposium, a white paper summarizing the themes of the conference and the plan was written.

The specific aims of this project were to:

  • Develop a national consensus-based white paper that will define the role of nurses in fostering consumer/patient and family engagement in every aspect of health care including decisionmaking, care coordination, and self-care management. 
  • Involve a diverse, interdisciplinary group of health professionals in a symposium and follow-on activities that will promote significant patient engagement policy research and strategy setting that will ultimately improve the patient/consumer health care experience. 
  • Use the symposium activities and a white paper to establish a set of consensus-based recommendations and action steps that nurses can use to facilitate patient engagement. 

The patient engagement symposium was attended by 119 individuals and received high praise by attendees. Eighteen educational sessions and several poster presentations were provided. Materials from the symposium were made available on the NAQC Web site. The white paper, available at http://www.naqc.org/WhitePaper-PatientEngagement, is titled Fostering Successful Patient and Family Engagement: Nursing’s Critical Role. This white paper was distributed to all NAQC organizational members, symposium speakers, and participants; posted on the Web site; and widely disseminated by the NAQC member organizations to their constituents.

The paper contains a new definition of patient engagement, as follows:

“patient engagement is the involvement in their own care by individuals (and others they designate to engage on their behalf), with the goal that they make competent, well-informed decisions about their health and health care and take action to support those decisions.”

In addition, the paper outlines a national strategic plan with action steps for the profession to address in order to enhance the skills and behaviors of nurses working with patients and families, and to support nurses in advocating for patients in the health care systems in which engagement occurs.

The project team noted remaining challenges, including a need for regular and in-depth communication within the community and the need for key shared messages. NAQC and others have committed to track progress within and across individual strategic areas. NAQC member organizations are beginning to identify and address areas of the strategic plan best suited to their particular strengths to carry this work forward.

Symposium on Patient Engagement - 2012

Summary Highlights

Summary: Many patients face chronic health conditions that require sustained interaction with the health care system. The care they receive increasingly involves multiple specialists and delivery sites offering an array of diagnostic tests and treatments. Patients must assimilate information in order to make complex care decisions, and are asked to comply with specific regimens related to diet, medication, rehabilitation, wound-healing, and more. Patients are more likely to successfully manage a chronic condition if they are active partners in their own health care. Opportunities for patient engagement range from increased exchange of information and data between patients and providers, to patients becoming confident and well-informed about their own care and health behaviors. However, for patient engagement to be effective, providers must understand what the term means, appreciate how their attitudes, behaviors, and actions can increase patient involvement, and understand how they can influence the health care environment to support and respond positively to consumers.

With more than 3 million registered nurses (an average of one for every 100 Americans), nurses could be utilized to improve patient engagement. The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) is a national group of nursing organizations that, along with patient care advocacy organizations, are committed to advancing the quality, safety, and value of consumer-centered health care. NAQC has identified a need to study nurses’ roles and skills that foster patient engagement and create a strategic plan to enhancing nurses’ abilities to help patients assert their own values and preferences as decisions about health and health care occur. For this project, NAQC brought research, policy, and strategy elements to a national conference to gain the nursing workforce’s support to achieve national policy goals related to patient engagement in health care.

Specific Aims:

  • Develop a national consensus-based white paper that will define the role of nurses in fostering consumer/patient and family engagement in every aspect of health care including decisionmaking, care coordination, and self-care management. (Achieved)
  • Involve a diverse, interdisciplinary group of health professionals in a symposium and follow-on activities that will promote significant patient engagement policy research and strategy setting that will ultimately improve the patient/consumer healthcare experience. (Achieved)
  • Use the symposium activities and a white paper to establish a set of consensus-based recommendations and action steps that nurses can use to facilitate patient engagement. (Achieved)

2012 Activities: The national conference was held November 12-13, 2012, with 130 registered attendees at the Dulles Hyatt in Reston, VA. Attendees evaluated the conference positively, emphasizing the quality of the speakers and the timeliness and importance of the topic. A white paper resulting from the conference underwent several revisions in 2012 and was scheduled to be presented to the NAQC board of directors in January 2013. As last self-reported in the AHRQ Research Reporting System, project progress and activities are completely on track and budget spending is on target.

Preliminary Impact and Findings: This project has no findings to date.

Target Population: General

Strategic Goal: Develop and disseminate health IT evidence and evidence-based tools to support patient-centered care, the coordination of care across transitions in care settings, and the use of electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care.

Business Goal: Synthesis and Dissemination

Symposium on Patient Engagement - Final Report

Citation:
Schumann MJ. Symposium on Patient Engagement - Final Report. (Prepared by the George Washington University School of Nursing under Grant No. R13 HS021600). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2013. (PDF, 85.64 KB)

The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the author(s), who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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