Why does consumer engagement matter?

It leads to better care—given by providers and received by consumers.

Each day, it becomes easier for patients to find out which doctor has the most experience with appendectomies and how much different hospitals charge for a c-section. Transparency gives patients the power to “vote” through their choice of providers and services and take responsibility for their own self-care. 
The goal is to help all stakeholders…understand how better information about health care quality can improve the quality of care.—“Understanding Consumer Engagement: Why It Matters”
Part of the “Care About Your Care” resource collection, “9 Things You Can Do To Get Better Care” recommends using doctor and hospital ratings and following best practices in caring for particular conditions.
AF4Q communities are making headway in engaging consumers. Detroit brought diabetes self-management education out of the hospital and into the workplace. Boston learned that reporting on how patients experience care from doctors is one way to increase physician accountability and consumer awareness of health care quality.
Consumers need to be involved with public reporting. When the Wisconsin Alliance partnered with Consumer Reports to publish a report on local doctors, consumers helped ensure that it was written in practical—not technical—language, and that it provided questions for consumers to ask their doctors about the ratings.
Transparency comes in many forms. To generate significant savings without compromising quality, the Puget Sound Health Alliance created a public report designed to encourage the use of generic drugs. 
By putting price and quality information out there, providers, plans, employers, and consumers stand equally to gain as each learns what it takes to achieve and receive great health care.