1. Hassmiller, Susan PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Bilazarian, Ani BSN, RN


OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to illustrate the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and ethics of consumer engagement initiatives and identify promising practices and leadership strategies used by nursing leaders.


METHODS: A literature review was performed with supplementary interviews conducted with 25 key nursing informants including nursing executives and chief nursing officers at acute care hospitals, community health centers, policy institutions, and quality and safety organizations. A narrative synthesis approach was used to identify and compare existing measures of consumer engagement and compassionate care in acute care settings. One-hour semistructured interviews were performed, and information was gathered by notes and audio recordings.


RESULTS: Consumer engagement activities focusing on compassionate patient and provider interactions involving patients and family as partners on the care team are associated with increases in treatment savings and patient safety in terms of length of stay and reduced medication errors. Engagement initiatives support employee health and reduce compassion fatigue.


CONCLUSION: Findings illustrate the impact of patients and family engagement in decision making and promising organizational practices that reinforce engagement.