Patients' Views about Patient Engagement and Representation in Healthcare Governance

Matthew DeCamp, Vadim Dukhanin, Lindsay C. Hebert, Sarah Himmelrich, Scott Feeser, Scott A. Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Health systems increasingly engage with patient representatives on their governance boards or with patient and family advisory councils to improve care delivery. Little is known about how general patients regard those engagement activities. The objective of this study was to assess the importance of patient representation. We mailed a survey to 31,687 Medicare beneficiaries attributed to a Medicare accountable care organization. We examined relationships between respondents' views and their health characteristics and performed thematic analysis on free-text responses. Among 3,061 respondents, the majority believed that having a patient representative (74.1%) or a patient council (74.0%) mattered "some" or "a lot." The main factors respondents considered in answering were that "patients deserve a voice" (64%) and "having a patient on the [governance] board increases my trust" in this organization (46%). Our analysis of free-text responses illuminated why patient representatives are important, keys to successful engagement, and reasons behind the skepticism. This study indicates that most patients believe representation in health system governance is important, and that realizing its potential requires engagement activities that improve general patients' awareness of, and interaction with, their representatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-346
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Healthcare Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Strategy and Management


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