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Pediatrics: New Assessment Tool Enhances Family Engagement in Healthcare Systems Change

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A recent Pediatrics article by CISWH researchers identifies the Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool (FESAT) as a key tool for improving family partnership in healthcare systems changes. The article highlights how two state teams from the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) for Children with Medical Complexity (CMC), Colorado and Oregon, utilized the FESAT to assess and advance family engagement on their teams for quality improvement projects to improve quality of life of CMC, the well-being of their families, and the cost-effectiveness of their care. 

The FESAT, developed by Family Voices, is a valuable tool in facilitating meaningful engagement for family colleagues in healthcare systems change. The case studies from CMC CoIIN teams in Colorado and Oregon revealed key lessons: 

  • Early partnerships with family leaders are crucial for successful quality improvement initiatives. Both Colorado and Oregon emphasized the importance of involving families and youth from the outset of their projects to co-design the initiative.

  • Repetitive use of the FESAT allows teams to consistently evaluate and improve family engagement practices over time. By regularly assessing their progress and adjusting strategies through a consensus-driven process, quality improvement teams can ensure meaningful partnerships with family leaders for systems change.
  • The FESAT operationalizes transparency and communication to allow for targeted and specific action plans for culture change; both domains are essential to fostering meaningful partnerships with families.
  • Adapting the research methods and approaches to reflect the current experiences and needs of family leaders on the team is necessary for effective engagement.

  • Cross-team learning and sharing in family partnership efforts allows teams to learn from one another and accelerate progress. 

The implementation of the FESAT provides valuable guidance for interprofessional teams seeking to deepen family engagement in systems of care change initiatives. 

Read the full article here.