Strategy 2: Communicating to Improve Quality

Research shows that when patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. To promote stronger engagement, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality developed the Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety, a tested, evidence-based resource to help hospitals work as partners with patients and families to improve quality and safety.

Communication between the patient, family, and clinicians is a critical component of high-quality, safe care and the foundation of partnerships between the patient, family, and clinicians. Strategy 2: The Communicating to Improve Quality strategy and its tools help facilitate this communication.

Communicating to Improve Quality Strategy Implementation Handbook gives an overview of and rationale for the strategy and provides step-by-step guidance for hospitals to help put this strategy into place.
[ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 8.56 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 490.2 KB

Word and PowerPoint files are provided so that hospitals can tailor them for their organizations.

Tools for this strategy include --

  1. Be a Partner in Your Care -- Handout that gives information on routine events and highlights tools the hospital can use to talk with the patient and family. Note: The Word document uses hidden text. To see the text, go to Word Options, select Display, and choose the Hidden text box.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 1.35 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 81.98 KB ]
  2. Tips for Being a Partner in Your Care - Brochure that describes four tips for patients to be partner in their care: (1) tell doctors and nurses about their health, (2) check to see if they understand what doctors and nurses say, (3) ask questions until they understand the answers, and (4) let health care staff know which friends and family members should be involved in their care. Note: The Word document uses hidden text. To see the text, go to Word Options, select Display, and choose the Hidden text box.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 1.19 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 157.76 KB ] -
  3. Get to Know Your Health Care Team -- Handout that gives information on the different members of the health care team: The patient, family, clinicians, and hospital staff. Note: The Word document uses hidden text. To see the text, go to Word Options, select Display, and choose the Hidden text box.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 456.36 KB ; PDF file PDF version - 240.75 KB ]
  4. We Are Partners in Your Care -- Poster that is displayed in patient rooms or elsewhere in the hospital that summarizes the main action items from the other handouts above. Note: The Word document uses hidden text. To see the text, go to Word Options, select Display, and choose the Hidden text box.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 1.4 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 81.85 KB ]
  5. Communication Competencies for Clinicians -- Handout that clinicians receive individually or during the clinician training that provides an overview and a checklist that highlight behaviors that invite and support the patient and family to engage in care.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 558.84 KB ; PDF file PDF version - 345.13 KB ]
  6. Communication Training – PowerPoint presentation for communication training that can be co-led by a physician, nurse, and patient and family advisors, for a group of physicians, nurses, and other professionals.
    [ Microsoft PowerPoint file Microsoft PowerPoint version - 197.58 KB ; PDF file PDF version - 182.61 KB ]

Users can also download all of the materials in zipped format by selecting: http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/patfamilyengageguide/strategy2zipfiles.zip ;14.64 MB.

Current as of June 2013
Internet Citation: Strategy 2: Communicating to Improve Quality . June 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/engagingfamilies/strategy2/index.html