Patient and caregiver engagement plays an important role in designing practice improvement and achieving quality outcomes. With a growing recognition that patient interaction informs quality improvement and appropriate use of resources (right care, right time, and in the right place), success is driven by actively partnering with patients as part of the care team.

This section focuses on the roles patients and caregivers play in an effective health partnership; how to improve communications and relationships between patients, caregivers, and care team; how to organize and facilitate an active Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC); and how to adapt evidence-based health coaching approaches to promote effective self-management and engage patients and caregivers in decisions around a patient's care.

Engaged individuals empowered with technology have been transforming every industry for some time. Health care has lagged behind this revolution, but it is catching up. Considering the prevalence and impact of heart disease and stroke, technology that empowers this patient population to achieve healthier lifestyles and better medication adherence should be among the highest priorities for health systems in the US and Canada.


Patient education is often viewed as the availability of fact sheets, brochures, or videos that explain specific conditions or treatments.


In February of 2013, Health Affairs published an issue on the theme of the “New Era of Patient Engagement”. In this issue, patient activation is defined several times, each definition varying just slightly, however, the message is clear.


As we move toward value-based payment models with a focus on continuous process improvement, it is important we hear from the population we serve, the patient and frequently the patient’s family or caregiver.

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