health careResearch shows that when patients are engaged in their health care, safety and quality can improve measurably. To promote stronger engagement, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) developed the Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety, a tested, evidence-based resource to help hospitals work as partners with patients and families to improve quality and safety.

Among other information, the free guide includes four specific strategies:

•  Working with Patients and Families as Advisors—shows how hospitals can work with patients and family members as advisors at the organizational level.

•  Communicating to Improve Quality—helps improve communication among patients, family members, clinicians, and hospital staff from the point of admission.

•  Nurse Bedside Shift Report—supports the safe handoff of care between nurses by involving the patient and family in the change of shift report for nurses.

•  IDEAL Discharge Planning—helps reduce preventable readmissions by engaging patients and family members in the transition from hospital to home.

It also features lessons learned from hospitals that have used the guide.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality