NAQC : Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement

The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) recently released Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement. This list of nine core principles is designed to assist nurses and other health care providers in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care through full engagement in all aspects of their care.

Many of these principles are things that we as nurses do every day, but NAQC reminds us that these things are all central to improving and maintaining high quality patient centered care. The principles include:

·         There must be a dynamic partnership among patients, their families and the providers of their health care, which at the same time respects the boundaries of privacy, competent decision-making and ethical behavior.
·         This relationship is grounded in confidentiality, where the patient defines the scope of the confidentiality. Patients are the best and ultimate source of information about their health status and retain the right to make their own decisions about care.
·         In this relationship, there are mutual responsibilities and accountabilities among the patient, the family and the provider that make it effective.
·         Providers must recognize that the extent to which patients and family members are able to engage or choose to engage may vary greatly based on individual circumstances. Advocacy for patients who are unable to participate fully is a fundamental nursing role.
·         All encounters and transactions with the patient and family occur while respecting the boundaries that protect recipients of care as well as providers of that care.
·         Patient advocacy is the demonstration of how all of the components of the relationship fit together.
·         This relationship is grounded in an appreciation of patient’s rights and expands on the rights to include mutuality.
·         Mutuality includes sharing of information, creation of consensus and shared decision-making.
·         Health care literacy is essential for patient, family and provider to understand the components of patient engagement. Providers must maintain awareness of the health care literacy level of the patient and family and respond accordingly. Acknowledgment and appreciation of diverse backgrounds is an essential part of the engagement process.

In November, NAQC will hold a conference “to spark discussion of how to move from principles to practical models of care delivery.” A call or posters and more information is available at the website. 

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