Patients in the hospital are often given little opportunity to participate in shared decisionmaking about their care—an experience that can be frustrating, confusing, and even frightening. A new tool, the Patient Passport, is designed to increase patient engagement and drive system-level change by helping patients start a conversation with providers in order to express their needs and preferences.
Modeled on existing tools used by the United Kingdom’s
National Health Service and the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, the Patient
Passport was developed in 2014 by a multistakeholder National Quality Forum (NQF)
Action Team focused on promoting patient and family engagement in healthcare
Written in the patient’s voice, the Patient Passport uses
pictures and simple language to start conversations and to help providers see
their patients as persons with stories beyond their illnesses. The content and
style are intended to make frontline staff’s work simpler and more effective by
presenting critical information about the patient—such as medications,
conditions, and what works or doesn’t work to cope with health conditions—in a
concise and meaningful way.
Several hospitals are piloting the Passport or have plans to
do so. The Passport is being shared through many channels, with hospitals and patient
advocates and groups committed to improving patient and family engagement. In
addition, the Passport has been integrated by NQF member organization Doctella
into a free mobile app.
“To drive system-level change, patients must be empowered to
be their own patient safety advocates and engage in meaningful dialogues about
their preferences for care,” said Pat Mastors, President of the Patient Voice
Institute, who co-chairs the NQF’s Patient and Family Engagement Action Team
with Susan Frampton, President of Planetree. “The Patient Passport provides an
effective tool to foster this interaction, which is so critical to improving
care, lowering costs, and achieving better health outcomes in our nation.”
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