Project Summary

Background: Most family medicine practices are not routinely engaging patients and families in the day-to-day operation of the clinic and are not prepared to conduct research. Among those that are, many lack the infrastructure and knowledge required for effective patient and stakeholder engagement.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: Some practices have solved this problem and successfully brought patient perspectives into the operations of their clinics. The project will identify these successful models and bring them together to share their approach at a conference to be held in the Kansas City metropolitan area—a location that is both central within the United States and the home of the largest medical society representing family doctors, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Objectives: The aims of the project are to identify emerging and best practices in engagement for family medicine practices and bring representatives together to lead discussions and share models in an effort to accelerate adoption. The long-term objective is to accelerate the pace of patient-entered outcomes research by having ready and patient-informed practices in which to conduct studies.

Activities: In Year 1, the team will collect model practices (approximately five to six) and will widely survey family medicine physicians to learn what their barriers, fears, and concerns are regarding stakeholder engagement at their site. In Year 2, investigators will develop a responsive agenda and plan the conference to include novel engagement strategies (graphic facilitation, liberating structures, i>clicker) that will ensure everyone participates.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: Short-term outcomes include encouraging and then tracking “next day” changes that clinics commit to trying as a result of the conference. Moderate and longer-term outcomes include an increased uptake of engagement throughout the AAFP (i.e., CME, social media coverage, routine expectations for patient and other stakeholder participation). An additional longer-term outcome is a more ready and willing, nationally representative group of family medicine clinics ready to engage in patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research. The conference will produce a rubric or guidelines derived from the successful clinics conducting research in partnership with patients and stakeholders to encourage uptake.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Patient participants are those who receive routine primary care services from their local family medicine clinics. Patient partners have informed the study since its conception, and they will co-develop, co-lead, and co-disseminate findings from the collaborative work using a team science approach.

Project Collaborators: Collaborators include the University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Colorado, the High Plains Research Network, Children’s Mercy Hospital, The Center for Practical Bioethics, and Bethel Neighborhood Center.

More on This Project

Issue Brief: Patient Engagement in Family Medicine: Current Attitudes, Activities and Models

Project Resource: Evaluation Plan

Project Information

Jennifer Carroll, MD, MPH
American Academy of Family Physicians

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: February 2, 2023