American College of Physicians releases principles to guide patient partnership in health care

1. The authors of this study generated four principles to identify the role of patients and families in developing physicians’ care plans through a multistakeholder advisory committee.

2. The principles developed highlighted the importance of treating family members and patients with dignity and respect, and encouraged them to be active members in their loved ones’ care.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Study Rundown: This study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) highlighted four principles that aimed to solidify the role of patients and families in physicians’ care plans. Over the years, it has become clear that patient and family partnership in healthcare can improve health outcomes, practice efficiency and patient and professional satisfaction. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that patient- and family-centered strategies lower utilization of health care resources, thereby reducing healthcare costs. The authors developed the ACP principles for patient and family partnership in care through a multi-stakeholder advisory committee, consisting of patients, physicians, and other members of allied health teams. The goals of the principles were to improve care and patient satisfaction and decrease health. Further studies in this domain will help strengthen the evidence backing the ACP’s principles.

Click to read the study in Annals of Internal Medicine

Relevant Reading: Patient Involvement in Health Care Decision Making: A Review

In-Depth [position paper]: The authors developed four principles based on a multi-stakeholder advisory committee. The purpose of these guidelines were to improve the extent to which patients and families have influence related to their loved ones’ healthcare. The four principles identified through this method included principles stating that patients and families should be treated with dignity and respect, patients and families should be active partners in all aspects of their care, patients and families should contribute to the development and improvement of health care systems, and patients and families should be partners in the education of health care professionals. Generally, the purpose of the paper is to highlight that patients and their families play a more significant role than ever in the healthcare system. 

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