Nurse Talking to Patient and laughing


Patient and Family Engagement Roadmap


Alison Williams

Alison Williams

Vice President of Clinical Quality Improvement





  • Patient Engagement
  • Process Improvement


guides patient engagement process improvement toolkit

A review of five nationally tracked patient and family engagement metrics (Missouri HIIN-participating hospitals data) notes Missouri hospitals and providers lag in definitively and strategically engaging with patients and families. This roadmap supports engagement and achievement of 12 patient and family engagement metrics endorsed by CMS’ Partnership for Patients and adapted from the Michigan Keystone Center’s Patient and Family Engagement resource.


Patient and Family Engagement Roadmap: Three tracks divide the work into a manageable framework - hospital structure and policy, point of care, and improved care and outcomes

MHA formed a Patient Family Advisory Council in 2017 that is comprised of patients, family members, patient advocates, hospital staff and providers in Missouri.

Learn more


Track #1: Hospital Structure & Policy

“Formally recognize my importance in my health care experience.”

Hospitals and health care systems should develop structure and policy that supports and expects broader patient and family engagement. Common examples include doing away with visiting hours, ensuring hospital committees and teams have patient and family representatives as key members, and have a dedicated staff member assigned to PFE activities.

Track #2: Hospital Engages Patient and Family in Their Care

“Nothing about me without me.”

Hospitals and health care systems should seek to engage the patient and family in every aspect of their care during all care episodes. Education, providing information, viewing the patient and family as critical members of the care team, and discussing and agreeing on next best steps not only enhances the patient and provider experience, but also is a high predictor of patient follow-through and increased activation in their health outcomes. Examples include discussing plans of care prior to hospital visit when possible, being active participants in bedside shift reports and multidisciplinary care rounds – not just a passive listener to the “experts” – and ensuring patients and family know how to assert themselves to ask questions and speak up regarding care needs that matter to them, such as hand hygiene practices, activities of daily living and pain management goals. Knowing what to expect from the care experience helps patients, families and providers achieve successful outcomes.

Track #3: Hospital Engages Patient and Family to Improve Care Experience and Outcomes

“Let me help you improve the care I receive.”

Hospitals and health systems should formally recruit patient and family members who are not employees to participate on care improvement teams up to and including governing boards. Patients and family members have been critical to providing insight on nonvalue-added care issues, mitigating patient harm events, and streamlining and improving processes. They provide “fresh eyes” to the health care team, giving feedback about what works and what doesn’t – saving valuable time and resources for all. Most importantly, hospitals and providers need to understand that patients and families desire to be part of the solution and appreciate providing feedback that results in action. Additionally, those who engage patients and families regularly increase staff and provider resiliency, satisfaction and engagement.

Back to Top