Survey to Assess Patient Engagement Structures in Primary Care Practices in Massachusetts (in partnership with CRICO)

What We Did:

MHQP completed the first-ever statewide survey of patient engagement practices in primary care. The purpose of the project was to create an inventory of activities that are believed to be helpful in enhancing patient engagement and to highlight successful patient engagement strategies for others to adopt.

The outcome of this project imbued MHQP with unique knowledge about structural programs and effective practices to help empower patients be active in their own care. We highlighted many of these successful strategies on our website, with the hope that these approaches would be adopted by primary care practices throughout the state to continually improve patient engagement.

Who Was Involved:

This project was supported by CRICO, the Harvard risk management foundation,

Why This Work Matters:

Patient engagement has emerged as an essential element of effective care as health care leaders around the country have begun to recognize that engaging patients through collaborative, personalized care is key to reducing costs and improving outcomes. When patients and providers work together to make care decisions, patients are more likely to follow the treatment plan; and when patients develop the confidence and skills to take charge of their conditions, they are better able to manage their own health. Moreover, patients and family members who are active partners in their care can provide information missing from their medical history and charts and can recognize errors in documentation of care.

Emerging evidence also suggests that certain aspects of patient engagement, especially shared decision making, decrease the chances of a patient experiencing an adverse event. Despite this evidence, we know very little about what programs primary practices have in place to support good patient engagement.

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