This initiative is completed.
Increasing evidence shows us that engaged, informed patients achieve the best outcomes. They are more confident and better prepared to manage their illness — often more inspired to work with providers toward achieving shared health goals.
This "self-management" isn’t easy. It can involve understanding and following complex medical regimens and making difficult changes in lifestyle such as losing weight or exercising more. Patients need providers’ support, and too few today are equipped to offer it.
To accelerate the pace of change in this area, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) called on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to manage an ambitious, three-year (2005 to 2008), $3.75 million dollar national initiative called “New Health Partnerships: Improving Care by Engaging Patients.” The initiative, supported in part by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), encompassed multi-level components directed by experts from leading organizations in chronic care and patient-centered care research, including the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation at the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound Center for Health Studies, and the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.
The New Health Partnerships project aimed to inspire profound change in health care for all. The project included the creation of a website to stimulate interest and provide a forum for people to ask questions, exchange ideas, and share resources, best practices, stories, and concerns about improving care for those with chronic conditions. The content of the New Health Partnerships website has been integrated into the current IHI.org.
The mission of New Health Partnerships was to support and manage an online community by providing information, resources, opportunities for discussion, and real-world examples. The goals were to:
- Support a patient- and family-centered approach to health care in which patients with chronic conditions, families, and providers work together;
- Offer resources and tools to clinicians, patients, family members, and communities so that they could effectively collaborate in self-management support;
- Build community-wide support for collaborative self-management;
- Use up-to-date technologies to assist providers, patients, family members, and communities in improving chronic care;
- Provide clinicians and administrative leaders with tools and examples to evaluate the business case for collaborative self-management support; and
- Encourage the active participation of all in New Health Partnerships.