“No decision about me without me’ in these terms goes far beyond traditional methods of engagement and consultation to include patients and the public as shared decision-makers at all levels of healthcare organization and delivery.”
The UK National Health Service commissioned research to explore the economic case for public and patient involvement (http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/economic-case-for-ppi/ ). InHealth Associates undertook 14 UK-based case studies to explore the relationship between meaningful and effective involvement and economic, quality and user benefits for NHS, partners and the populations they serve.
The study drew the following conclusions:
- Applying a process of business case and economic thinking to involvement planning and activity could yield valuable results such as preventing delays and reducing costs
- Consideration of the economic case for involvement is an innovative form of risk assessment
- Good involvement utilises untapped resources and turns them into valuable business assets
- A Decision Support Tool can promote the systematic capture of information prompting an ‘involvement culture’ to inform key decisions around current and future involvement effort (9, 2011)
These findings contribute to a growing body of international evidence about the merits and necessity of institutionalizing good public involvement in critical dimensions of healthcare design, delivery and evaluation. Public involvement needs to front and centre in strategic thinking about how to address healthcare system innovation in Canada if we are to effectively address current shortcomings and looming challenges.
-Mary Pat MacKinnon-
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