engage program
for Increasing Patient- and Family-Engagement at the Facility Level

The respectful, welcomed, and valued involvement of the patient, including their family as requested, in every aspect of medical care, in order to achieve the highest quality and best possible health outcomes for the patient.

- QIRN5 Board of Directors, 2013

The concept of patient-centered care has gained increasing prominence in recent years as a key aim of the U.S. health care system.[1] Patient and family engagement offers a promising pathway toward better quality health care, more efficient care, and improved population health.[2] Family and caregiver engagement is a patient-centered culture of care, not a task to be completed. Patient-centered care is not characterized by a particular program or practice, but rather by the core values and attitudes that drive programs and practices in our centers. Engaging patients, families, and caregivers in the care of a patient means engaging the hearts and minds of the people with whom we work and the patients for whom we care. When we study the patient experience and consider their perspective in our programming, patients will be more active in their care and outcomes will improve. With this understanding, MARC has developed the ENGAGE program as a means to assist providers in engaging patients through self-assessment, improved practice, and sharing of best practices.  ENGAGE is a Certification & Recognition Program for dialysis providers committed to patient engagement. Six easy steps can help facilities align with this model of care:



Enroll in the ENGAGE Certification Program. Complete the enrollment form and receive invitations to Patient Engagement Learning & Action Network (PELAN) sessions, and connect you to other program participants to share ideas and best practices. *** Enrollment is automatic for all facilities in Network QIA projects.***


Name a Patient Contact for the Project. Patient engagement is about involving patients. Patient Liaisons are usually a good place to start. This person should be invited to work through this project with you, and to attend the monthly webinars.


Gather Your Team. Engagement requires the involvement of everyone. Patients should be viewed as an important partner on your team. They bring the patient perspective for the most effective way to increase your level of patient engagement. Include patients in your QAPI activities.


Assess Your Facility. Complete the self-assessment to evaluate your facility’s current level of patient and family engagement. Identify your strengths. Determine opportunities for improvement.


Generate Goals. Once you have assessed your engagement level and identified opportunities for improvement, you will want to establish goals to take you to the next level. You will use the program completion form to highlight the progress you have made. QAPI should incorporate goals to increase patient engagement in plans of care, establish support groups, and increase involvement of patients in QIA, QAPI, and governing body.


Educate and Encourage All. Establish an environment where patients and staff partner for better, safer care. Both patients and staff benefit from continued and varied education. Share challenges and best practices with other project participants, and spread the culture of patient engagement. Share scores and outcomes rates publicly; request feedback on barriers and proposed interventions.


Facilities that enroll and complete this program will be issued a certificate and publicly recognized by QIRN5 for their exemplary work and best practices at the annual Council Meeting and on our website. Additionally, these facilities will qualify for automatic nomination for the Network 5 Facility of the Year award.  Enroll now and start producing innovative changes in your facility and in your patients’ lives!

Program Contact: Renée Bova-Collis rbovacollis@nw5.esrd.net or 804-320-0004, EXT 2705.


 [1] Shaller, Dale. “Patient-Centered Care: What Does It Take": The Commonwealth Fund (2007): iii-26. Document.
 [2] Carman KL, Dardess P, Maurer M, et al. Patient and family engagement: A framework for understanding the elements and developing interventions and policies. Health Aff. 2013;32(2):223-231.