Technical Assistance: Increasing Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) and Improving Patient Experience of Care

For questions or technical assistance, please contact:
Brittney Jackson, LMSW, MBA
Patient Services Director
(203) 285-1213

A priority of the Network is to serve as a resource to both dialysis patients and professionals throughout quality improvement activities. 

  • Talk with dialysis team members and patients to identify root causes of barriers related to patient and family engagement.
  • Identify an individual to serve as a patient ambassador in your facility by clicking here.
  • Set up a patient support group to help orient new patients or open communication among peers.
  • Invite a patient to the beginning and/or end of a QAPI meeting to allow them an opportunity to voice their concerns.
  • Share PFE policy with patients at the facility
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' main focus in all quality improvement activities (QIAs) is patient engagement.  Research has shown that facilities with patients whom are active members in their healthcare, achieve better clinical outcomes.
As a valuable participant of the healthcare team, patient advocates empower patients with renal failure to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with kidney disease. They serve as a bridge for better communication with medical staff, which assures a better understanding of patients' concerns, issues, and priorities.
The Network hopes to bolster patients and family engagement at the facility level as they become active partners of the healthcare team. This will be accomplished through the disbursement of marketing and campaign materials, education, and peer-to-peer counseling.

Tools & Resources
This initiative will embody a campaign model in which grass root recruitment materials will be distributed to all facilities in the Network, with a concentrated focus on facilities involved in quality improvement activities. Materials are to include both print and digital marketing materials inspiring all patients and to nominate either themselves or other patients within their facility to become a patient ambassador. Once a patient has been recruited, the new recruit will be advised of their roles and responsibilities as peer mentors through detailed training.
What is Peer Mentoring?
 A peer mentor empowers fellow patients to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with ESRD. Peer mentoring provides support and increases the confidence that many new patients need, and offers patients access to someone who can understand their concerns. Your peers may get support from friends and family, but connecting with others who have similar experiences can offer added support.
What is the Role of a Peer Mentor?
Peer mentors can have several roles, including:
* Providing information
* Listening to concerns
* Sharing experiences
* Promoting positive behavior
* Offering encouragement
* Relieving anxiety
Who Should be a Peer Mentor?
Peer mentors can come from all backgrounds. Mentors should be individuals with positive outlooks on managing kidney disease. Individuals who are succeeding at achieving their treatment goals can provide insight to help others successfully manage kidney disease.
Our goal is to create a culture of shared responsibility for improvement within the facility. Healthcare that results in the best outcomes revolves around team work. The Network aims to help create an environment where patients are a part of the healthcare team. Facilities can adopt this method to continue to increase patient engagement.
Improving patient and family engagement practices at the facility level will help with:
  • Establishing patient council support groups/ new patient adjustment groups
  • Incorporating patient, family and caregiver participation into the Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) meetings and governing body of the facility
  • Developing policy and procedures related to patient, family and caregiver participation in the patient's care
We Want to Hear from YOU!
Please contact the Patient Services Director if you have questions, comments, or specific barriers that you would like to address.  Let us know if you have identified any best practices that you would like to share with the community.