Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families

Research shows that when patients are engaged in their healthcare, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. To promote stronger engagement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a guide to help patients, families, and health professionals in primary care settings work together as partners to improve care.

About the Guide

The Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families (the Guide) is a resource to help primary care practices partner with patients and their families to improve patient safety. The Guide is composed of materials and resources to help primary care practices implement patient and family engagement to improve patient safety.

Breakdowns in patient safety in primary care are real. An environmental scan on the topic identified several key threats to patient safety amenable to improvement through patient and family engagement. Errors in diagnosis, breakdowns in communication, unsafe medication practices, and fragmentation of care all contributed to poor patient safety in primary care settings. Patient and family engagement in primary care helps forge trusting relationships that promote safety.

Materials in the Guide

The Guide is composed of materials and tools to support adoption of patient and family engagement into practice.

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Acknowledgments

Project Team

This project is led by the MedStar Health Research Institute. To contact the project team, email Kelly Smith, Ph.D., project principal investigator at Kelly.m.smith@medstar.net.

Development Partners

The partners for this work include Project Patient Care, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, Prince George's County Department of Health, Capital Area Primary Care Research Network (CAPRICORN), Clinical Directors Network, CVS Health, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, and Telligen Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization.

Dissemination Partners

The dissemination partners for this work include MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, Project Patient Care, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, Institute for Healthcare Improvement–National Patient Safety Foundation, Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, National Nurse-led Care Consortium, Prince George's County Department of Health, Capital Area Primary Care Research Network (CAPRICORN), Clinical Directors Network, CVS Health, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, and Telligen Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization.

Page last reviewed April 2018
Page originally created March 2016
Internet Citation: Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families. Content last reviewed April 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-family-engagement/pfeprimarycare/index.html