Care Practices to Promote Patient Engagement in VA Primary Care: Factors Associated With High Performance

Article: Care Practices to Promote Patient Engagement in VA Primary Care: Factors Associated With High Performance

Authors: David A. Katz, Chaorong Wu, Erin Jaske, Greg L. Stewart and David C. Mohr

Journal: Ann Fam Med. 2020 Sep; 18(5): 397–405

PURPOSE: Patient engagement has been broadly defined as the process of actively involving and supporting patients in health care and treatment decision making. The aim of this study was to identify organizational factors that are associated with greater use of patient engagement care practices in Veterans Health Administration primary care clinics.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2016 Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) national survey of direct care clinicians (primary care clinicians, registered nurses, and clinical associates). Exploratory factor analysis was used to group conceptually related patient engagement survey items into 3 subscales: planning and goal setting; motivational interviewing; and organizational strategies to promote self-management. Our independent variables included literature-based factors reported to promote team-based care and interdisciplinary collaboration in primary care. We used generalized estimating equations with multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify independent correlates of high performance on each patient engagement domain (top 25th vs bottom 25th percentile).

RESULTS: A total of 2,478 direct care clinicians from 609 clinics completed all patient engagement items in the PACT survey. For all patient engagement sub-scales, respondents at high-performing clinics were more likely to report having regular team meetings to discuss performance improvement and having leadership responsible for implementing PACT. For 2 of 3 patient engagement subscales, high performance was also associated with having fully staffed PACT teams (≥3 team members per primary care clinician) and role clarity.

CONCLUSIONS: Several desirable organizational and contextual factors were associated with high performance of patient engagement care practices. Strategies to improve the organizational functioning of primary care teams may enhance patient engagement in care.

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