Data Impacts Patient and Clinician Engagement

Data plays a crucial role in the ever-changing healthcare environment; but there are a lot of questions about why data and the collection of data is important.

“We have a very important role to play in how we collect and view data,” Dr. Ed Bujold, MD, FAAFP, Primary Care Physician/Rural Practice Advisor for KPN Health, Inc. said. “We can possibly make changes in our patient’s health based on the data we collect.”

Dr. Bujold is a physician participating in the Patient and Clinician Engagement (PaCE) project. His involvement in the project began during its inception three years ago when he was selected as one of the physicians along with a patient of his choosing.

PaCE is part of a North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI.) The purpose of PaCE is to cultivate a strong community of patients and primary care providers who have an understanding of the features of patient-centered outcomes research related to primary care.

The committee is comprised of a select group of patient/clinician dyads from the United States and Canada. It strives to put the patient voice in every aspect of health care from start to finish. This may include research, office practices, hospitals, insurance entities, etc.

“Patients truly had very little voice or involvement with regard to medicine,” Bujold said. “Three years ago, the thought was that if you bring a patient and their physician together, it would be a strong partnership in order to move forward an agenda that brings physicians and their patients to Washington and Ottawa to petition government officials at the federal level for more funding of primary care research. But, the patients had much more they wanted to accomplish. The patients have truly driven this "movement” and it has been wonderful to see them engaged in healthcare like this and it has been rewarding for the involved physicians."

Dr. Bujold recently attended the 3rd annual Patient and Clinician Engagement (PaCE) meeting in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We decided that this core group will not just act as thought leaders but will also start going out into other communities and begin training people to do the things we’ve been discussing for three years,” Bujold said. “People are starting to come to the group to learn how to engage patients and improve healthcare.”

Data, paired with patient voices, allows physicians and groups like PaCE to evaluate the healthcare environment and shed some light on how care can be improved for patients and practices across the nation.

“The bottom line is, we’re trying to get everybody healthy and living life to the fullest,” Bujold said. “Data collection, what KPN does, is a tool that helps us do that.”

For more information about PaCE, please visit http://www.napcrg.org/Engagement-PACE.