Patient Engagement 2017
Clip
How Do You Measure Trust? (02:25)

How do you measure patient trust in a health care system?

“It is the question, and I don’t know that we’ve even begun to settle on an answer,” says Toyin Ajayi. She notes that patient-reported outcomes start to get at that question. Another approach is asking patients simple questions that allow providers to better understand how to include them as members of the care team.

“I cannot effectively and robustly measure trust, but let’s at least start with the presence of a relationship,” she says. For example, Ajayi will ask patients, “Do you know the name of your health care provider, of anyone on your health care team? Would you recognize them, and would they recognize you, if you ran into them in an unfamiliar setting on the street?”

In every relationship, trust is predicated on the ability to be reliable, says Ajayi. So to establish a trusting relationship with patients, providers must ask themselves, “Are we dependable and consistent as a health care system? Do we say what we are going to do?” There are many ways to measure this.

“It’s very hard to move things unless you measure them,” adds Nirav Shah. “Unfortunately, there is no scale of trust.” He suggests creating a drop-down field in the electronic health record for rating trust on a scale of 1 to 10. “When we start asking about it, when we start measuring it, we’ll do it wrong the first five, 10 times, but it’s an intentional improvement over time that shows this is important.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Hardwiring Patient Engagement to Deliver Better Health at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, April 13, 2017.

More From Patient Engagement 2017

Survey Snapshot: Health Care Providers on the Problems of Patient Engagement Design

Members of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council say reimbursements must value providers’ time spent on patient engagement.

Data Graphic: CMOs and Staff Physicians Lead Patient Engagement Efforts

Survey respondents say CMOs and staff physicians head patient engagement efforts within health care organizations, but it’s important to note who does the ranking.

Data Graphic: The Two Most Effective Patient Engagement Initiatives

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members say the only broadly effective approaches are time spent with patients and shared decision-making.

How Chronic Pain Treatment Falls Short of Patient-Centered Care

Healing the opioid epidemic requires nothing less than a comprehensive theory of patient health.

Patient Engagement versus Patient Experience

The difference between the two terms is muddled but important, says Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Experience Officer.

Evaluating Complex Care Programs: Is It a Zero-Sum Game?

Policymakers see programs for complex patient populations as a way to bend the health care cost curve, but are reduced health care utilization and costs the right measures of success?

Toyin Ajayi Talk Still: The Difference Between Noncompliance and Defiance

The Difference Between Noncompliance and Defiance

How do we align our goals for patient engagement with even the most complex, difficult patients?

Hardwiring Patient Engagement to Deliver Better Health

Imagine a world in which health care was not “one size fits all,” but customized for each patient individually.

Health Care — A Final Frontier for Design

Design must move beyond narrow projects and encompass complex systems.

Engineering Social Incentives for Health

It’s important to engineer social engagements that promote health, but we must also test their acceptability and effectiveness.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Patient-Centered Care

172 Articles

Patient-Reported Outcomes — Are They Living…

The patient’s voice can be at the forefront of health care delivery.

Walking with Our Patients in the…

Mobile integrated health, a disruptive home-based delivery model, repurposes existing resources and addresses critical care…

Patient Incentives

50 Articles

Why Real-World Results Are So Challenging…

User engagement outside of clinical trials is the critical factor.

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now