Partnership for Patients: Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Care

Patients being engaged in hospital

Hospitals are high-risk settings. By one estimate, hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America. Identifying effective ways to engage and partner with patients and families to reduce errors, as well as hospital-acquired conditions, has been shown to improve safety in hospitals across the country.

Funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, AIR served as the person and family engagement (PFE) contractor for 16 Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks from 2016-2019. The networks are state and regional organizations helping more than 4,000 hospitals provide safer care by engaging patients as partners at every level of health care—at the bedside, in development of policies and procedures, and in governance decisions.

AIR developed the Strategic Vision Roadmap for Person and Family Engagement to help these networks and hospitals implement, sustain, and evaluate engagement activities. Our patient engagement experts also provided technical assistance to the 16 networks and their hospitals to implement PFE activities. AIR produced monthly learning events to help hospitals engage patients and families through best practices, and our staff offered in-person training to hospitals as needed to help them apply effective strategies in local settings. AIR also has developed templates, tools, and other resources to help hospitals save time and resources when involving patients in improving safety.

AIR monitored the implementation of patient and family engagement in hospitals and worked with the hospital networks to assess the impact of engagement on improvements in quality and safety. Through its national community of practice, AIR disseminated testimonials from hospital administrators, as well as case studies of hospitals that are successfully applying patient engagement to solve quality and safety issues.

Thomas Workman headshot
Principal Communication Researcher and Evaluator
Image of Lee Thompson
Principal TA Consultant