Partnering with Patients and Communities Saves Lives
Caring for patients and families extends into the community. Engaging local employers, service providers and community leaders builds trust. Inviting patients to share their perspectives, clinical and non-clinical needs, and lifestyle preferences will help to tailor care plans and promote health equity.
Examples of how patient and family engagement and health equity are embedded into our quality and safety strategies:
- Readmissions. Interviewing patients reveals non-clinical drivers of utilization, such as transition challenges, communication barriers and otherwise undetected social service needs.
- Infection control. Including family and caregivers in bedside huddles increases surveillance to ensure provider infection prevention efforts (like handwashing) and early detection of changes in patient status.
- Root cause analysis. Patient and Family Engagement Councils (PFACs) provide community and cultural context when analyzing the root causes of safety events and health disparities.
- Maternal morbidity. Screening patients for postpartum depression identifies families with socioeconomic stressors who need additional support.
WSHA views patient engagement and health equity as cross-cutting approaches touching every area of patient safety and quality. Each quality improvement initiative should include the patient’s partnership and be tailored to the unique needs of populations.
How consistently does your organization collect and use patient self-reported race, ethnicity and language data? Complete the Health Equity Organizational Assessment to identify strengths and opportunities of your facility.
What does meaningful patient and family engagement look like across the care continuum? Check out this short video illustrating a vision for involving patients and their families in health care delivery.