One of the keys to implementing change is to involve all affected parties in the process, both at development and implementation stages. Patients are often not invited to the process, or are invited as an afterthought at the end stage.
Some key reasons to seek patient involvement:
- Patients and their families/caregivers can help expand the organization’s perspective, as they will “feel” the gaps in the systems. Even if they can’t name the cause, they are able to describe the symptoms. This will help to identify problems.
- Patient input will help keep providers attuned to reality as felt by the people receiving the care--a reality check.
- Staff can be motivated to initiate or implement changes due to patient feedback. It is an added incentive to provide quality care for people who receive and appreciate it.
- Multiple groups with interest and expertise in patient safety (IOM, IHI, Leapfrog) have recommended patient-centered efforts for effective change.