Patient Engagement-Centered Initiative Launched | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Patient Engagement-Centered Initiative Launched

August 29, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a Washington D.C. non-profit aimed at advancing environmental conservation, scientific research, and patient care, has launched an initiative called the Patient Care Program, looking to eliminate all preventable harms to patients through advanced patient engagement.

The Foundation says it expects to allocate a half billion dollars over ten years if the Program develops as anticipated, focused on both meaningfully engaging patients and their families in their own healthcare. It also would include developing a systems approach that optimally reconfigures interprofessional teams, processes, and technology to be supportive of that engagement. 

“By developing and connecting these two critical aspects of healthcare, we believe that healthcare will be better, more cost-effective and more respectful for patients and their families, and the healthcare professionals who serve them,” Steve McCormick, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, said in a statement.

Dr. George Bo-Linn, chief program officer for the Patient Care Program, said the effort will begin with a focus on eliminating all preventable harms to adult patients in acute-care settings. According to the foundation, each year tens of thousands of preventable deaths occur in U.S. hospitals, and millions of dollars are spent on complications and patient readmissions that could be averted. Additionally, fewer than half of all patients report feeling part of and respected by the healthcare system that serves them. 

“Improvements in patient care will be more significant and lasting if patients and their families are actively engaged–-especially if we reconfigure clinical processes, care teams and technology into an integrated whole to focus on patient safety,” Bo-Linn said in a statement.  “Much improvement has occurred but too many patients still suffer from lapses in quality and safety. It’s ambitious to attempt to prevent all harm, but we must strive for no less.” 

Today’s launch included the announcement of a strategic partnership with the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality,where an interdisciplinary teamof healthcare professionals, engineers,bioethicists,and others will identify ways to eliminate all harm to patients, engage families in the care of their loved ones, and reduce costs beginning in the intensive care unit. The $8.9 million grant fromthe Foundation will support their work. The project, led by Institute Director Dr.Peter Pronovost, will focus on identifying improvements that could be applied in other healthcare settings. 

According to a recent post in The Wall St. Journal, Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for  Patient Safety and Quality, in Baltimore, Md., will be the first recipient of this grant. The WSJ article says it will give patients within the hospital’s intensive care unit an iPad or tablet to track their caretakers’ efforts, and hold videoconferences with physicians.

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