The healthcare system in Qatar has acknowledged the need for patient-centered care (PCC) in its strategic intentions. The primary care system in Qatar consists of 31 health centers located throughout the country, managed by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). PHCC sought accreditation through Accreditation Canada, which in 2018 included a priority for PCC, including engaging patients in all aspects of the organization. A formal patient engagement (PE) framework was developed and fully implemented in the primary health care system. The framework involved patients in strategic and operational aspects of all organizational activities at national and health center levels, including participating in committees and activities such as quality improvement projects. Engaging patients in their own direct care was seen as part of the clinical process by our healthcare professional staff. Development of our patient engagement framework included recruiting a significant number of patients, outlining governance for implementation and oversight, documenting all the processes involved, and then implementing the PE framework. The outcomes of implementation of the PE framework include evidence of benefits for the organization, staff, and patient advisors. Although more patients responded to requests to provide feedback on their care, the patient experience data has not shown significant improvement in patients’ perceptions of their care experiences in our health centers as a result of engaging patient at service design level. Our experience demonstrates the intricacy of engaging patients in a healthcare system. Implementation of patient engagement in the clinical care process needs to be given equivalent weight in a patient engagement framework.
This article is associated with the Patient, Family & Community Engagement lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework (https://theberylinstitute.org/experience-framework/).
Khattabi N, Abdalla M, Al Ali A, Abdul Malik M. Implementing a patient engagement framework in the primary healthcare system in Qatar. Patient Experience Journal. 2023; 10(3):74-80. doi: 10.35680/2372-0247.1812.
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