September 23, 2017 |
Patient Engagement Provides Enhancements to Health Care Delivery System
December 3, 2014  | 

Oak Brook, IL - Patient engagement in practice improvement projects resulted in enhancements to the health care delivery system at University of Wisconsin (UW) Health, Madison, Wisconsin, as well as provided unique and essential contributions, according to an article, “Engaging Patients at the Front Lines of Primary Care Redesign: Operational Lessons for an Effective Program,” in the December 2014 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Current national health care policy and local market pressures are encouraging organizations to partner with patients in an effort to improve the value of the health care delivery system. From 2009 to 2014 at UW Health, 47 teams engaged patients in practice improvement projects. William Caplan, M.D., and co-authors studied the improvement projects and identified five key components for fostering a culture of patient engagement:

  • Alignment of the organization’s vision with the redesign of national health care priorities. Patient engagement was identified as a priority with the goal of improving health care.   

  • Readily available external experts. The Center for Patient Partnerships provided expertise and knowledge, and offered consultation with system leaders, and training for frontline care teams and improvement coaches. 

  • Involvement of all care team members in patient engagement. Microsystem training engaged providers and staff with a less physician-centric approach that allowed the whole team to participate in improvements.

  • Integration within an existing continuous improvement team development program. The microsystem curriculum provided a pre-existing program that was readily expanded to include patient engagement training. 

  • Intervention deliberately matched to organizational readiness. Strategically deploying engagement interventions that matched organizational readiness.


These components led not only to higher levels of patient engagement (as defined in a framework of five progressive levels) but also to positive feedback from staff and providers about the program and patients’ participation. Continue>

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