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Patient and Family Engagement

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes that patients, families, and caregivers are essential partners in the effort to improve the quality and safety of healthcare provided to all patients. It is only by including them as active members of their own healthcare team that quality can be improved and care become more patient-centered; by fully engaging patients, families, and caregivers in the design, delivery and evaluation of care, it is made safer, treatment plan adherence is increased, and hospital readmissions are reduced. Research shows that individuals who feel responsible for their own health tend to have better health outcomes. 

The resources found here will help all participants on the healthcare team to fully engage in the process of care for end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

Addressing Abusive Behaviors in the Dialysis Center

This document takes a look at the underlying causes of conflict that could possibly lead to abusive behaviors and provides some suggestions on how to avoid or deal with difficult situations.

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Communication Tips for Earning a Win

This one-page document is for use with both patients and staff. It stresses that we are all on the same team and provides simple tips for communicating better.

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Facilitating an ESRD Support Group 101

This  document can be provided to patients who are interested in starting a support group. It defines what a support group is, why it is difficult to find a support group, how to start one, as well as providing tips for running support group meetings.

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Network 15 Decreasing Patient Conflict Tip Sheet

This four-page tip sheet provides a comprehensive overview of how to decrease dialysis patient—provider conflict  by assessing facility culture and policies to better understand the causes of patient—provider conflict at the facility level.

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Nothing About Me without Me: Including Patients in QAPI and Governing Body Meetings

The Department of Health and Human Services National Quality Strategy’s new focus on better care for the individual through beneficiary- and family-centered care involves working with patients rather than doing to or for patients. Such partnerships are mutually beneficial to the patients and the facility. Involving patients in your facility’s Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) and/or Governing Body meetings can be an effective means of engagement and partnership. This document can help you get started.

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Patient Councils, Patient and Family Support Groups, and New Patient Adjustment Support Groups

This helpful resource explains why patient groups are so important and provides tips for establishing a group, popular topics for group discussions, and a list for existing renal support groups beyond the Network.

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Peer Mentoring: A Valuable Resource for New Dialysis Patients

Share this document, created by the Network 15 Patient Advisory Council (PAC), with your patients who have questions about peer mentors; what they are and what they are not. It addresses:

  • What essential values a peer mentor must have
  • What Makes a peer mentor valuable
  • What the responsibilities of a peer mentor are
  • What a peer mentor is not

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QAPI/Governing Body Meeting Invitation Template

Use this template to invite patients, family members, and/or caretakers to QAPI and governing body meetings. It provides information every invitee needs to be prepared for and get the most out of these important patient engagement opportunities.

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Quality Assessment & Performance Improvement (QAPI) Patient & Family Meeting Notes

Provide patients who have been selected to attend your QAPI and/or governing body meetings with this helpful tool designed to help them (and you) get the most out of their meeting attendance.

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Retaliation for Filing Grievances—Does it Exist? Tip Sheet and Team Activity

This tip sheet and team activity about understanding patients' perception of retaliation is an effective tool to use with staff when discussing how to handle patient grievances and compliants.

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The Benefit of Getting Your Grievance "In Order"

This one-page tip sheet can help patients to organize their thoughts in order to voice their grievances in a manner that will be well received and responded to. It was developed as part of the Grievance Quality Improvement Activity.

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Tips from the HSAG: ESRD Network 15 PAC: Mindful Patient-Staff Engagement

This patient-developed document provides short, simple suggestions to facility staff on how to best engage  and communicate with patients, including:

  • Showing respect.
  • Being sensitive to patients' feelings and preferences.
  • Using two-way communication tactics.
  • Being professional.
  • Working collaboratively.
  • Establishing mutual trust.

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Tips to Improve Patient Engagement

These tips can assist your staff in establishing the genuine engagement with patients that is essential in the provision of high quality healthcare and achieving improved healthcare outcomes.

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Vital Signs—Something's Missing

Use this one page document with patients. It helps to create a culture of safety and encourages patients to express how they feel about their treatment experience. 

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