Consumer involvement is a fundamental component of the HQ QI model. Though many clinics have expert patients, peer groups, and group patient education sessions, most do not routinely involve consumers in QI activities. Patient participation throughout the improvement process is vital to providing services that effectively meet or exceed patient needs and expectations.
Patient involvement opens channels of communication between government agencies, program staff, and other community members to strengthen care. Collaboration between patients and clinical service providers promotes shared achievement of programmatic goals by working to determine what works best. Engagement by healthcare professionals, including normalizing a prevention and treatment message, and involving patients in the treatment process, reduces stigma and promotes norms consistent with stronger treatment adherence.
Examples of patient involvement include:
• Orientation, training and coaching in QM
• Patient participation in working groups and QI teams
• Patient satisfaction surveys, exit interviews and focus groups
• Patient review of QI data for development and review of clinical indicators
• Civil society participation at the national level through the National AIDS Commission.