AIR and its subcontractors developed, pilot tested, implemented, and evaluated the Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety, a resource designed to facilitate patient and family engagement in the safety and quality of care obtained in a hospital setting. Developed in conjunction with patients, family members, patient advocacy organizations, hospitals, and clinicians, the Guide helps hospitals partner with patients and families in improving hospital experiences, care delivery, and outcomes at point of care and organizational levels. As a first step in developing the Guide, AIR conducted an environmental scan assessing the current literature, tools, and resources available to engage patients and families in their care in the hospital setting. The scan includes:
- A framework that describes how patient and family engagement can lead to improved quality and safety.
- A description of factors that influence patient and family engagement, including characteristics and perspectives of patients, families, health care professionals, and hospital organizational and cultural factors.
- Hospital-based methods and materials currently being used to engage patients and families in the safety and quality of care.
The Guide itself focuses on four primary strategies for promoting patient and family engagement in hospital safety and quality:
- Encourage patients and family members to participate as organizational advisors.
- Promote better communication among patients, families, and health care professionals from the point of admission.
- Implement safer continuity of care by keeping the patient and family informed through nurse bedside shift change report.
- Engage patients and families in discharge planning throughout the hospital stay.
The Guide was implemented and evaluated in three hospital settings using a mixed-methods approach. Evaluation results demonstrated that the Guide was feasible to implement, that staff and patients responded positively to the interventions, and that the Guide was associated in increases in HCAHPS scores and increased favorable perceptions of the value of patient- and family-centered care.