What attributes of patients affect their involvement in safety? A key opinion leaders' perspective.
Efforts to engage patients in safety efforts have thus far achieved mixed results, with several studies noting patients' reluctance to take an active role for fear of harming their relationship with the care team. This study used a consensus process among patient safety opinion leaders to identify key traits of patients who could effectively partner with clinicians in safety efforts. The study identified 13 patient attributes, including health literacy and the willingness to speak up when confronted with unsafe situations, which would facilitate patient involvement in safety programs. As calls to increase patient engagement spread to areas like diagnostic error prevention, understanding which patients may be willing and able to take on this additional responsibility will be critically important. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently published a guide to help organizations develop partnerships with patients around safety and quality improvement programs.