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What Are the Barriers to Partnering with Patients?

Barbara Balik, RN; IHI Senior Faculty, Common Fire Healthcare Consulting

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss the barriers to providers partnering with patients.
  • Explain the obstacles to partnering with patients at an organizational level.
  • Identify at least one question to ask patients to help build partnerships.

Description: True partnerships with patients are difficult to develop.

In this video, Barbara Balik, RN, explains some of the barriers to building partnerships with patients on the level of the provider-patient relationship and on the level of an organization. She discusses the role of health education, organizational culture, and leadership in creating culture that either discourages or fosters patient partnerships.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Of the barriers to partnerships between patients and providers, which do you find the most difficult to overcome? Why?
  2. What strategies can you think of to help overcome the barriers you just identified?
  3. Do you think quality improvement is changing health education and organizational culture to be more conducive to patient-provider partnerships? How?
  4. Have you ever asked a patient in a short visit, “What’s most important to you today?” or “What are you most worried about?” What did you learn? Did the conversation take a long time?
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