Patient & Family Engagement

Woman in Wheelchair

Empowering Patients

Watching Old Memories

Providing Educational Materials

Group of Hands

Peer-to-peer counseling

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) main focus in all quality improvement activities (QIAs) is patient engagement.  Research has shown that facilities with patients who are active members in their healthcare achieve better clinical outcomes.

About Patient and Family Engagement (PFE)

As a valuable participant of the healthcare team, patient advocates empower patients with renal failure to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with kidney disease. They serve as a bridge for better communication with medical staff, which assures a better understanding of patients' concerns, issues, and priorities.

The Network hopes to bolster patients and family engagement at the facility level as they become active partners of the healthcare team. This will be accomplished through the disbursement of marketing and campaign materials, education, and peer-to-peer counseling.

This initiative will embody a campaign model in which recruitment materials will be distributed to all facilities in the Network, with a concentrated focus on facilities involved in quality improvement activities. Materials are to include both print and digital marketing materials inspiring all patients and to nominate either themselves or other patients within their facility to become a patient ambassador. Once a patient has been recruited, the new recruit will be advised of their roles and responsibilities as peer mentors through detailed training.

Please visit our Peer Mentoring page for more information on peer mentoring.

Patient Support Groups

Our goal is to create a culture of shared responsibility for improvement within the facility. Healthcare that results in the best outcomes revolves around teamwork. The Network aims to help create an environment where patients are a part of the healthcare team. Facilities can adopt this method to continue to increase patient engagement.

To increase patient engagement, facilities can:
  • Implement an internal policy and procedure and/or develop a policy and procedure in regards to inviting patients, family members, or caregivers to be included in their plan of care
  • Identify an individual to serve as a patient ambassador
Improving patient and family engagement practices at the facility level can help with:
  • Establishing patient council support groups and/or new patient adjustment groups
  • Incorporating patient, family, and caregiver participation into Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) meetings and the governing body of the facility
  • Developing policy ad procedures related to patient, family, and caregiver participation in the patient's care

Plan of Care Meetings

Part of the responsibility of the interdisciplinary team (IDT) is to include patients, and if requested, their care partners and family members in both developing/setting goals and reviewing the patient plan of care.

Is it acceptable to hold a plan of care meeting with the IDT and the patient, their care partner, or family members (if requested) via telephone conference? As stated in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Interpretive Guidance for the Conditions for Coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities, the answer is "yes."

"A substitute mechanism for a team conference needs to facilitate discussion among team members about the information gathered from the comprehensive patient assessment and provide the opportunity for team coordination and development of an effective, individualized plan of care for the patient to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. To facilitate full team participation in conferences, any member, including the patient, may participate through telecommunication."

Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI)

Our goal is to create a culture of shared responsibility for improvement within the facility. Healthcare that results in the best outcomes revolves around teamwork. The Network aims to help create an environment where patients are a part of the healthcare team. Facilities can adopt this method to continue to increase patient engagement.

To increase patient engagement, facilities can:
  • Implement an internal policy and procedure and/or develop a policy and procedure in regards to inviting patients, family members, or caregivers to be included in their plan of care
  • Identify an individual to serve as a patient ambassador
Improving patient and family engagement practices at the facility level can help with:
  • Establishing patient council support groups and/or new patient adjustment groups
  • Incorporating patient, family, and caregiver participation into Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) meetings and the governing body of the facility
  • Developing policy ad procedures related to patient, family, and caregiver participation in the patient's care

Tools & Resources

Provider Education

Patient Education