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Project Provides Road Map to Person-Centered Care, Evidence-Based Research for Vulnerable Patients


WASHINGTON—New research from America’s Essential Hospitals provides a road map to integrate person-centered care and evidence-based research into hospital care for vulnerable patients, who often are under-represented in these important care improvement activities.

The project’s findings reflect the challenges of bringing person-centered care and evidence-based research to vulnerable populations due to the multiple chronic conditions and limiting socioeconomic circumstances these patients often face.

The association’s research and education arm, Essential Hospitals Institute, conducted the research, which was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards. The contract supported activities to gather information from essential hospitals about their use of patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research information and determine appropriate ways to share this evidence with patients to aid decision-making.

To understand the current state of person-centered care and evidence-based research at essential hospitals, the Institute conducted a landscape review, a hospital survey, and interviews with patients and caregivers. The Institute also engaged advisory groups of patients, clinicians, and chief medical and quality officers throughout the research process, who provided guidance in developing the road map.

“Person-centered care engages patients and their families as active participants and decision-makers in their own care,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “This practice not only can improve care and outcomes at essential hospitals but also can raise the standard of care for providers across the country. We appreciate PCORI’s support in our efforts to spread and foster this philosophy.”

The road map highlights the positive effects of person-centered care and evidence-based research on improving care delivery, patient engagement, and overall patient satisfaction and retention. The Institute shares three core strategies for essential hospitals:

  • establish a person-centered culture;
  • participate in evidence-based research; and
  • integrate person-centered care and evidence-based research into everyday practice.

The road map also includes examples of existing programs at essential hospitals and tactics for tailoring the road map to different hospital populations. The Institute will work with PCORI and its partners to share this resource with patients, caregivers, and health care providers at hospitals around the country.

“The vulnerable populations that essential hospitals serve often are excluded from evidence-based research,” said Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, the Institute’s director and the association’s vice president of innovation. “By prioritizing person-centered care, engaging patients as research partners, and using research findings in shared decision-making, essential hospitals can ensure that the patients, families, and communities they serve have representation and influence in evidence-based studies.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 325 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research and quality arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano


About the Author

Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

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