Roles of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives:
Educating and Engaging Patients
Even the best-performing healthcare providers can only do so much to improve quality and reduce costs without strong support and engagement from patients. Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives help citizens in their communities:
- understand and actively engage in activities that will maintain and improve their health,
- choose providers and services based on their cost and quality, and
- support the delivery of higher quality, more coordinated care.
- the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation has developed patient-friendly materials to help people select quality healthcare providers and work with them to develop appropriate treatment plans. Publications include Making the Most of Your Medical Appointments, Getting the Kind of Care That Works Best, and How Can You Find Trustworthy Health Information on the Web?
- Massachusetts Health Quality Partners launched the Expect the Best campaign to help patients know what they should expect when they have an office visit with a physician so they are more likely to get high quality care. For example, patients are urged to "Expect that your doctor takes the time to give you clear instructions on what to do to take care of your medical problem, including what to do if your symptoms get worse or come back," and patients are given specific suggestions as to what they and their doctor can do to make this happen.
- Minnesota Community Measurement has established "The D5: 5 Goals for Living with Diabetes" to make it easier for people with diabetes to manage their condition and to find the healthcare providers who can most effectively help them.
- The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality created Wisconsin Health Reports, a patient-friendly website designed to help patients learn about their healthcare conditions, compare providers, and take action to improve their health.
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