The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) is a national group of nursing and patient care advocacy organizations committed to advancing the highest quality, safety, and value of consumer-centered health care. The NAQC plans a conference on patient engagement (PE), or the active involvement of patients as partners in their own healthcare. PE is an increasingly important strategy in patient safety/prevention and care management, both priorities of the sponsoring Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Culture of Engagement symposium will bring together research, policy and strategy experts including nurses, physicians and consumers, with the broad objective of promoting research into the area of PE, specifically examining ways in which nurses can play a key role in implementing PE. Methods to be utilized will include extensive pre-conference work (building upon draft Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement developed by the NAQC Subcommittee), including convening an interdisciplinary Expert Panel that will be involved from pre - through post conference in carrying out the major aims of this conference to: (1) Develop a national consensus-based white paper that will define the role of nurses in better effectively fostering consumer/patient and family engagement in every aspect of health care, including decision making, care coordination, and self-care management;(2) Involve a diverse, interdisciplinary group of health professionals in an expert panel, a nursing conference, and follow-on activities that will promote significant patient engagement policy, research and strategy setting to improve the patient/consumer healthcare experience;and (3) Use the conference activities and the white paper to establish a set of consensus-based recommendations and action steps that nurses can use to facilitate patient engagement. The conference will include listening sessions/white paper modifications, PE research poster sessions, plenary sessions and break out and panel discussions involving diverse nursing stakeholders. Using input from symposium participants, the final white paper will be published and disseminated to nursing, consumer, provider and other relevant stakeholder groups. Ultimately, activities associated with this conference and its resultant publications are expected to increase the specific actions taken by nurses nationwide to support patients and families in successful and safer interactions with the healthcare system.
Patient engagement, which involves making patients active partners in their own care, is relevant to public health because it impacts the patient experience at every level in the healthcare system, from preventive/outpatient care to hospital/acute care all the way through end of life care. Nurses can play a critical role in supporting patient engagement, which research shows improves healthcare outcomes, but they need tools to support these changes. The proposed Culture of Engagement symposium will bring together nurses, patients/consumers, physicians and others to review engagement research and to develop guidance that will help nurses to support patient engagement in diverse settings nationwide.