While health care organizations and public programs have recently demonstrated an increased interest in engaging patients and consumers as part of the implementation of new programs and policies, there is little published to date to guide these organizations in how to best engage consumers. We turn to an unconventional source—health care consumer advocates—who have developed experience in the type of consumer outreach, engagement, and activation that could help inform health care organizations and policy makers in further defining and studying engagement. We share perspectives from the field of advocacy that we believe could be applicable to health care organizations and policy makers working to build patient and family engagement, particularly in organizational governance and policy.
Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, Community Catalyst, Boston, Massachusetts.
Correspondence: Kris Wiitala, BA, Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, Community Catalyst, One Federal St, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors thank the consumer health advocates who provided information on their projects for this article.
In addition to her role at Community Catalyst, Dr Hwang is a primary care physician for Commonwealth Community Care. The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation is generously supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John A. Hartford Foundation, and provides consulting and training services related to consumer engagement.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any other commercial companies pertaining to this article.