Millions of Americans are hospitalized each year. For many people, complications arise in the hospital, or they experience confusion related to what they should do after they are discharged. While research has attempted to address these issues, patients and other healthcare stakeholders have not had a clear voice in saying what issues are most important from their perspectives, and what research is the highest priority. Hospitalist researchers who are involved in the Society of Hospital Medicine have worked with patients from local patient and family advisory councils to develop a proposal to allow patients’, families’, and stakeholders’ voices to be heard.
The project provides a way for patients, families, and other stakeholders to share their priorities for improving hospital care. The first aim for this project would be to create a prioritized list of research questions over two years. Patients, families, and stakeholders would submit their ideas regarding unanswered questions related to hospital care. These questions would be categorized, formatted, and verified by hospitalist researchers and patients. Then patients, families, and stakeholders would prioritize those questions through an online process and in-person meeting. The result would be a list of questions ranked in order of importance. All stakeholders will submit unanswered research questions, and will be involved in their ranking. For the project’s second goal, the participants would also form a group of potential collaborators to work with researchers to answer these questions.
Thus, this project will generate a prioritized list of research questions that reflect patient, family, and stakeholder concerns. This list could be used by (a) patients, families, and other stakeholders to advocate for future research to answer these questions, and (b) by researchers and organizations that fund research to develop research projects. The patients, families, and stakeholders that participate in the project could also work with researchers to answer these important questions.
Patient partners have been involved in this project from the start. Patients will form half of the steering committee overseeing this work, in close collaboration with hospitalist researchers. They will be involved in each step of the process, and assist with dissemination of the results. The project’s stakeholders are diverse, including nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers, hospitals, quality improvement groups, policy makers, and insurance companies.
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) will be a collaborator in this project, and the hospitalist researchers are all members of this organization. SHM has a long history of working with other groups, including patients, on projects to improve the care patients receive in the hospital. The hospitalists and patient partners involved in this project are from seven different healthcare organizations from across the country.
Project Resource: Project Orientation
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