“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Edward Kennedy
Listening is a key element of community engagement. Community engagement is the act of building a relationship with people in the community you serve. Research shows that organizations that involve members of the community in their planning and service delivery have improved quality, safety, and customer satisfaction. There are different ways to engage members of the community in your organizational activities. Federally qualified health centers have at least 51% of their Boards of Directors who are patients. Hospitals and community organizations may create Patient and Family Advisory Boards. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are part of the health care workforce who are trusted members of the community. CHWs act as the bridge between the community and the health care system. Consumers can be helpful in providing input in planning, programming, marketing and promotion, websites and web portals and strategies for meeting community needs. People in the community bring various perspectives that can improve quality, safety, experience and ensure that the needs of the community are being met.
Invite community members to participate in Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) to share in decision-making and providing feedback.
Identify community leaders who can participate in assessing community needs.
Hire a Community Health Worker to help strengthen the connections between the community and the health and social service system.
Resources & Links
Thompson, B., Molina, Y., Biswanath, K, Warnecke, R. & Prelip, M. (2016) Strategies to Empower Communities to Reduce Health Disparities, Health Affairs, 35:81424-1428;
Mohammed, K., Nolan, M. B., Rajjo, T., Shah, N. D., Prokop, L. J., Varkey, P., & Murad, M. H. (2016). Creating a patient-centered health care delivery system: a systematic review of health care quality from the patient perspective. American Journal of Medical Quality, 31(1), 12-21.
Carman, K. Dardess, P, Maurer, M, Sofaer, S, Adams, K, Bechtel, C. & Sweeney, J. (2013) Patient and family engagement: A framework for understanding the elements and developing interventions and policies. Health Affairs. 32(2). 223-231.
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Policies and Procedures
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Data Collection and Analysis
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Language and Communication Access
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Workforce Diversity and Inclusion
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