From rhetoric to reality: consumer engagement in 16 multi-stakeholder alliances

Jessica Greene, Diane C. Farley, Jon B. Christianson, Dennis P. Scanlon, Yunfeng Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: A key component of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program was engaging consumers in their health and healthcare. We examined the extent to which the alliances embraced 4 areas of consumer engagement: self-management, consumer friendliness of reports of healthcare provider quality, involvement of consumers in alliance governance, and the integration of consumers into quality improvement teams.

METHODS: We used a largely qualitative approach. The evaluation team conducted 1100 in-depth interviews with alliance stakeholders. Two authors reviewed the consumer engagement data for each alliance to assess its level of embrace in the 4 consumer engagement areas. For consumer friendliness of public reporting websites, we also assessed alliance public reports for reading level, technical language, and evaluable displays. Population-level effects were also examined for self-management and public reporting.

RESULTS: Consumer engagement was new to most alliances, and few had staff with consumer engagement expertise or existing consumer constituencies. For each area of consumer engagement, some alliances enthusiastically embraced the work, other alliances made a concerted but limited effort to develop programs, and a third group of alliances did the minimum work required. Integrating consumers into governance was the area most often embraced, followed by making public reports consumer friendly. Two alliances strongly embraced both self-management and integrating patients into quality improvement efforts. The AF4Q program did not have greater population level effects from self-management or public reporting than were those observed in a national comparison sample.

CONCLUSION: The AF4Q program sparked a few alliances to develop robust consumer engagement programming, while most alliances tried consumer engagement efforts for the first time and developed an appreciation for integrating consumer perspectives into their work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)s403-s412
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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