February 8, 2013


Engaging Health Care Users

Rich Umbdenstock, AHA President and CEO

How can hospitals, patients and family members forge a true partnership as members of the health care team? As we strive to reinvent the health care system, engaging families and patients requires that we move outside our comfort zone - acute in-hospital management of episodes of illnesses. Building bonds with people in their communities, we can intervene earlier in the disease process, encouraging behaviors and practices that keep people healthy - no small matter when 40 percent of all deaths in the United States stem from personal choices and behavior. When people do need care, actively engaging patients and families also improves outcomes and reduces both costs and readmissions. The AHA Committee on Research addresses this timely question in their just-released report, Engaging Health Care Users: A Framework for Healthy Individuals and Communities. I urge you to read it and let us know what engagement looks like in your community.

Thanks,
Rich

 Questions or Comments?
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rich@aha.org

 

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