New Roadmap Provides Framework for Engaging Patient and Family Partners in Quality Improvement
January 27, 2022
Patient and family partnerships are an essential element of health equity. By supporting patient and family voices and encouraging space for collaboration, public health professionals can help ensure shared vision and values are at the forefront of determining solutions to improve a community’s health outcomes.
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and the Florida Department of Health Office of Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan and Specialty Programs have recently developed a Roadmap to Inviting, Engaging, and Including Patient/Family Partners in Quality Improvement and Other Related Initiatives.
There are a variety of nuances to consider when working to increase family engagement, and institutions may be unsure how to start. The roadmap provides a framework for effective engagement and inclusion of a Patient/Family Partner (PFP) onto a work group, advisory council, Quality Improvement (QI) team, or other clinical or health systems initiatives.
The tool provides guidance for many steps along the process, from preparing to invite a family partner to the group to thinking about sustainability. Additionally, numerous evidence-based resources have been included throughout the roadmap to honor the work that many others have contributed to the field of family-professional partnerships.
Developing the Roadmap to Invite, Engage, and Include Patient/Family Partners
The Florida Department of Health Office of Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan and Specialty Programs partners with NICHQ to develop and facilitate the Florida Children’s Medical Services Learning and Action Network (FL CMS LAN), which comprises seven specific Statewide Networks for Access and Quality (SNAQ) teams to improve the quality and access to care for children and youth with special healthcare needs. These seven networks represent fifteen hospital and university hospital systems.
Linda Starnes serves as the Statewide Family Leader for the Florida Department of Health Office of Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan and Specialty Programs. She brought the idea of developing a roadmap to NICHQ in the spring of 2021. After hearing feedback from project participants that they could benefit from a guide on family engagement, the FL CMS LAN team was inspired to develop a comprehensive guide specifically targeted to the needs of the project. The roadmap moved from inception to completion over the course of several months and was disseminated to the LAN in late 2021.
Guiding Institutions on Building Family Partner-Inclusive Projects
NICHQ and partners from the Florida Department of Health will present a workshop titled, “Shaping the Future of Florida’s Family-Professional Partnerships Through a Statewide, Interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Initiative” during the 2022 Association of Maternal Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Conference May 24-26.
Eliza Williamson, Senior Project Manager at NICHQ, will join Linda Starnes and Kelli Stannard, BSN, RN, Registered Nursing Consultant for the Florida Department of Health Office of Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan and Specialty Programs, to host a 60-minute interactive workshop sharing key learnings and resources on how attendees can replicate their own family partner-inclusive project.
The NICHQ and Florida Department of Health team will share the “why, how, and what’s next?” behind the FL CMS LAN initiative, as well as accomplishments related to family-professional partnership initiatives.
Focusing on Equity and Inclusion in 2022
In 2022, efforts continue to establish a framework for equity and inclusion across all facets of the LAN. NICHQ is looking forward to continuing engaging family voices as we work to improve systems of care for children and youth with special healthcare needs.
“As we journey closer to our collective goal of a system of care in Florida that is family-centered, comprehensive, and coordinated, the roadmap provides a solutions based focus to bringing family voices to decisions about care,” said Sandra Widland, MPH, Project Director at NICHQ.
NICHQ will partner with FL DOH CMS during the next three years to facilitate a learning community of providers focused on continuous quality improvement of systems to enhance services and access to care for children and youth with special health care needs in Florida.
The roadmap guide was developed by Linda Hampton Starnes, Statewide Family Leader, Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program, Office of Children’s Medical Services (CMS), Florida Department of Health, in collaboration with CMS’s Learning and Action Network (LAN) partner, the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ). Lead Editor was Eliza Williamson, Senior Project Manager, NICHQ, with supplemental editing by: Sandra Widland, NICHQ and CMS LAN Project Director; Joni Hollis, Bureau Chief, Office of CMS; Kelli Stannard, Nursing Consultant, Office of CMS; and Angela Miney, Family Partner, University of Florida Health Pediatric Pulmonology Center.
THE FL CMS LAN is funded under contract number CMCAA.