Patient Engagement and Education
As noted in the Chronic Care Model, productive interactions between informed, activated patients and prepared, proactive practice teams improves health outcomes. This page contains resources for health care professionals, to help them educate and involve their patients. It also contains resources for patients that health care professionals can share to help them become informed and take a commanding role in their healthcare.
For Health Care Professionals
Engaging patients in their own health care and teaching them how to stay healthy and manage their health conditions fundamentally relies on being health literate. Health care professionals need to communicate clearly, provide understandable and actionable health information, and provide opportunity and encouragement to engage in health care decisions.
Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool
The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool is a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of print and audiovisual patient education materials.
Engaging Patients and Families in Their Health Care
AHRQ has many patient engagement guides and tools for hospitals, primary care, and other settings to help prioritize concerns and maximize interactions between providers, patients, and families.
Be Prepared To Be Engaged
The Be Prepared To Be Engaged strategy encourages patients and their families to prepare for and become more fully engaged in their medical appointments. The goal is to help patients and families set their visit agenda and to be ready, speak up, and ask questions.
The SHARE Approach
The SHARE Approach, a train-the-trainer curriculum, supports the training of healthcare professionals on how to engage patients in healthcare decisionmaking.
Patient Engagement Tools from the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit
The AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, which helps healthcare systems enhance support for patients of all health literacy levels, contains many tools that can help health care professionals connect with their patients. These include:
- Communicate Clearly: Tool #4
- Use the Teach-Back Method: Tool #5
- Follow Up with Patients: Tool #6
- Address Language Differences: Tool #9
- Consider Culture, Customs, and Beliefs: Tool #10
- Assess, Select, and Create Easy-to-Understand Materials: Tool #11
- Use Health Education Material Effectively: Tool #12
- Encourage Questions: Tool #14
- Make Action Plans: Tool #15
- Help Patients Remember How and When to Take Their Medicine: Tool #16
- Get Patient Feedback: Tool #17
Health Literacy and Patient and Family Engagement: Strategic Tools To Prevent CAUTI
The Health Literacy and Patient and Family Engagement: Strategic Tools To Prevent CAUTI presentation describes the importance of addressing health literacy in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and summarizes ways to engage patients and families in CAUTI prevention.
Asking questions and talking builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Here are tools that you can share with patients to improve communication. Send them to patients before visits through your patient portal, hand them out when patients check-in, and give them to patients during visits.
Patients and Providers Discuss Importance of Asking Questions
These videos, featuring patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions at medical visits, can be shown in your waiting room.
Be More Involved In Your Health Care: Tips for Patients
This brochure gives patients tips to use before, during, and after a medical appointment to make sure they get the best possible care.
Before a Medical Visit
Questions To Ask the Doctor
Patients can use this list of questions to take active role in their health care.
Tips to prepare for a medical visit
The Question Builder helps patients create a list of questions they can take to appointments if they are getting a checkup, talking about a problem or health condition, getting a prescription, or discussing a medical test or surgery.
Patient Prep Card
This card lets patients record what they want to talk to the doctor about, their questions, and their health goals before medical visit.
My Questions for This Visit
Patients use this to write down their top three questions to ask during a medical visit.
During a Medical Visit
Tips for getting the information you need and making sure you and your doctor understand each other.
Patient Note Sheet
This sheet helps patients record important information they receive during medical appointment.
After a Medical Visit
This page helps patients know when to call the doctor when they are back at home.
Next Steps After Your Diagnosis
This page offers general advice for people with almost any disease or condition. And it has tips to help patients learn more about their specific problem and how it can be treated.
Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe
This guide answers common questions about getting and taking medicines and has handy forms that will helps patients keep track of information about their medicines.
How to Create a Pill Card
Patients, parents, or anyone who needs to keep track of their medicines can create an easy-to-use "pill card" using the instructions and sample clip art on this page.
After a Hospital Visit
Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital
Providers can give this guide to patients to help them keep track of the information they need to care for themselves when they leave the hospital.