July 13, 2020

Patient and Family Engaged Care: An Essential Element of Health Equity


In this paper, we emphasize and explore health equity as an integral component of a culture of patient and family engaged care (PFEC), rather than an isolated or peripheral outcome. To examine the role of PFEC in addressing health inequities, we build on the 2017 NAM Perspectives discussion paper “Harnessing Evidence and Experience to Change Culture: A Guiding Framework for Patient and Family Engaged Care.” Informed by both scientific evidence and the lived experience of patients, their care partners, practitioners, and health system leaders, the paper by Frampton et al. introduced a novel Guiding Framework that delineates critical elements that work together to co-create a culture of PFEC, while also depicting a logical sequencing for implementation that facilitates progressive change and improvement toward the Quadruple Aim outcomes of better culture, better care, better health, and lower costs. In this paper, the authors highlight the need to integrate addressing health and health care disparities and improving health equity as core components of the framework to ensure the culture and policy changes necessary to meaningfully engage patients, health system staff, families, and communities.