Consumer Engagement 101
The vision of Aligning Forces for Quality is to raise the quality of health care by engaging all key stakeholders—the people who provide care, pay for care, and get care. Health care consumers—those who get care—are an important part of this equation for a number of reasons. Consumers have an interest in finding and accessing high-quality, high-value health care for their families; they can make choices about health care that promote quality improvement; and, particularly for patients with chronic disease or their caregivers, they can participate actively in their care to improve their health. Consumer involvement is a valuable and powerful force at many points along the continuum of health care quality and system redesign. Aligning Forces for Quality serves as a unique experiment in engaging consumers at key points along this continuum – including public reporting of health care quality, chronic disease self management, and clinical quality improvement. Engaging and sustaining consumer involvement is not easy, but Aligning Forces communities are learning best practices and the far-reaching benefits of employing them.