Patient involvement in patient safety: how willing are patients to participate?
A 2007 Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal mandated active involvement of patients in their own care as a patient safety strategy. This focus generated research about how to best involve patients, including a better understanding of patient-reported errors and Speak Up initiatives. This British study found that most patients are reluctant to challenge clinicians with regard to safety procedures, such as asking a doctor if they washed their hands. While the exploratory study suggested that patient willingness to speak up is influenced by the type of behavior and professional role, their comfort in doing so was positively influenced when providers explicitly encouraged it. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective and interview with Sorrel King discussed the role of the patient in improving safety.