Nothing About Patients Without Patients: Strategically Partnering with Leadership for Patient-Centered Outcomes

Abstracts from the Kaiser Permanente2018 National Quality Conference


Linda Fahey, RN, NP, MSN; Kerry Litman, MD; Susie Becken;
Barbara Lewis; Diana Palma, MHA

From Southern California

Background: Engaging with patients/families improves quality, safety, care experience, and affordability but is not yet a “core value” throughout Kaiser Permanente (KP). Patient Advisory Councils exist in most KP Medical Centers but are not consistently used in improvement work. We will share tools and processes that make advisory councils and patient collaboration more effective, creating a “continuous cycle,” in which more positive results lead to more demand for future patient engagement, adding positive energy to this work.
Methods: Previously, KP had been behind the movement of creating effective Patient Advisory Councils and welcoming advisors’ feedback compared to many of the more than 5000 US hospitals. KP has pulled ahead as a leader in embedding the patient voice in health care with the strong support of our executive leaders. The KP Southern California (KPSC) Regional Patient Advisory Council (RPAC) has created a valuable model for a successful regional approach to improve person-centeredness. We have developed a powerful and effective workflow and improvement process with tools, surveys, and metrics leading to many successes. For example, groups requesting RPAC advisors fill out forms that provide RPAC with important information about the activity, and informs the group about advisors’ expectations.
Results: The RPAC in Southern California has created an impact log detailing the effect that our patient advisors have had on a range of activities. We will share examples and an in-depth case study outlining how involving patients has positively affected KPSC’s Online Personal Action Plan (oPAP), developed to provide virtual access for patients to personal health information/goals. KPSC oPAP leaders collaborated with RPAC to create a more patient-friendly, effective program than originally developed. The KPSC oPAP system has become more effective, and more widely used after implementation of the new patient “codesigned” system. In addition, redesign of colonoscopy prep instructions, implementation of the redesigned ambulatory offices, pharmacy issues, and many other areas were improved by asking for and acting on input from RPAC.
Discussion: “Nothing about patients without patients” is a key strategy noteworthy for adoption throughout KP. However, the process of embedding the patient voice in everything we do requires a clear process. RPAC has time-tested our workflow, incorporating advisors’ feedback to optimize impact. A comprehensive procedure ensures success for meaningful advisor participation on councils, conferences, committees, workgroups, etc. This session provides attendees with a road map and a playbook to demonstrate how embedding the patient voice can improve safety, enhance the patient experience, and save money to optimize patient- and family-centered care.

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