Engaging the Patient Perspective Produces Real Change

05 Mar 2013

In 2010 Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation, a nonprofit quality improvement organization, launched its Patients and Families as Leaders program.  This program provided five organizations—four medical groups and one health plan—with intensive training, coaching, web-based tools, and other technical assistance to help them establish patient and family advisory councils. Patient advisers provide a “reality check” for proposed service changes, much as consumers in other industries help predict the response to a new product and hereby reduce risk of product failure. “Health care unfortunately oftentimes re-does things a lot. And there’s an expense to that,” said Cindy Klug, director of education for Providence Medical Group in Oregon. “Now you know what your patients need and want.”