Task Force on Patient and Family Engagement

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) Task Force on Patient and Family Engagement reviewed best practices and evidence-based strategies for increasing patient and family engagement in direct care settings, hospitals, health systems, and the community. With the goal of improving health and health care systems in North Carolina, members developed and refined a set of 17 recommendations to catalyze patient and family engagement. With support from the Duke Endowment, the NCIOM collaborated with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH), the North Carolina Quality Center (NCQC) of the North Carolina Hospital Association, North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), and the Foundation for Nursing Excellence (FFNE).

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Task Force Leadership

All Members


Kimly Blanton

Patient Family Advisor

Vidant Health

Melanie Bush, MPAff

Assistant Director - Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Medical Assistance

North Carolina Department of Human Services

Warren Newton, MD, MPH

Director, North Carolina AHEC Program

William B. Aycock Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Project Director

Kimberly Alexander-Bratcher, MPH

Former Project Director and Research Associate

North Carolina Institute of Medicine

Meeting Dates

February 2014 - January 2015

Task Force meeting dates, agendas, and additional materials.


Meaningful patient and family engagement is crucial for improving population health, quality of care, and patient safety, as well as reducing unnecessary health care expenditures. Studies have shown that patients who receive enhanced decision support had lower medical costs, fewer hospital admissions, and fewer surgeries for conditions where there are multiple appropriate treatment options, such as knee pain, hip pain, back pain, and certain types of heart conditions (“patient preference-sensitive conditions”). When patients are active partners in care, they are more likely to adhere to care recommendations.

The goal of the task force was to identify evidence-based or evidence-informed strategies to help increase patient and family engagement in health care decision making, support healthy lifestyle changes, improve medication adherence, and engage patients and families as partners in health systems change. All patient and family engagement strategies were evaluated through a lens of improved patient quality of care, improved patient outcomes, improved community health, and reduced unnecessary expenditures. The task force brought together various stakeholders to identify best practices and develop a short- and long-term plan to most effectively catalyze patient engagement in North Carolina.