The need for patients to be actively involved in health care has been recognised for a number of years. To date researchers and practitioners’ efforts have been devoted to ensuring patients are full partners and on equal footing with health care professionals in the care of their own health. This is evident in the Montreal model which has been built around the expertise chronically ill patients accumulate over time and which feeds into the decision-making process regarding their own future care. But the full promise of active engagement of patients in health care will remain unfulfilled if the only concept of partnership is limited to the dyadic relationship between a care provider and his/her patient. The system as a whole needs to move towards full integration of patients in two additional and interrelated settings. Patients need to be full partners in service optimisation teams where team members seek to improve services’ efficiency and outcomes and in academic research teams where team members seek to discover and transfer knowledge that has theoretical and practical value. Many questions need to be answered for this to occur: What is expected of patients in service optimization teams and in academic research teams? What is the mechanism by which one patient goes from a non-member to a member, and then to a fully functioning and contributing member in each of these kinds of teams? What do others on the team – health care professionals, managers and/or academics – need to do to facilitate the integration of patients and to adjust to changes that will occur in team dynamics?
After the presentation and discussion, participants will
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