The Era of Patient Engagement

Experts from the American Institutes for Research co-authored two articles in the February 2013 issue of Health Affairs, which focuses on the “The Era of Patient Engagement.” One article offers the results of a review of health-related data now available and compares that with the information patients actually seek. The second article provides a framework for increasing the engagement of patients and their families in health care.

Patient and Family Engagement: A Framework for Understanding the Elements and Developing Interventions and Policies

Full Article

In Patient and Family Engagement: A Framework for Understanding the Elements and Developing Interventions and Policies, the authors offer a definition of patient and family engagement in health care and propose a framework for understanding the different levels of the health system and the influences that shape them.

“Emerging evidence suggests that engagement can be a pathway toward achieving the goals of better quality of care, greater cost efficiency, and improved population health,” wrote AIR’s Carman, Dardess, and Maureen Maurer, as well as Shoshanna Sofaer of Baruch College of the City University of New York, Karen Adams of the National Quality Forum, and Christine Bechtel and Jennifer Sweeney of the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Engaged Patients Will Need Comparative Physician-Level Quality Data and Information About Their Out-Of-Pocket Costs


“Surveys over the past decade reflect a troubling trend. A minority of Americans report having seen comparative health care quality information, and the percentage appears to be declining,” write authors Jill Mathews Yegian, Pam Dardess and Kristin Carman of AIR and Maribeth Shannon of the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) in this article, published in the February 2013 issue of Health Affairs.

The researchers found that much of the information available reflects the interests of experts and health care professionals rather than the priorities of consumers. For instance, consumer priorities focus on easy-to-understand information about the quality of physicians and services, as well as data about the out-of-pocket expenses consumers face. Currently, consumers tend to “perceive price as a proxy for quality,” the researchers said, noting that individuals covered by insurance are “largely insulated from out-of-pocket expenses” and less concerned with cost.


Copyrighted and published by Project HOPE/Health Affairs as Carman, KL et. al, Patient And Family Engagement: A Framework For Understanding The Elements And Developing Interventions And Policies, Health Aff (Millwood). 2013, Vol. 32, No. 2,223-231. The published article is archived and available online at