November 21, 2019

PPI for more efficient health systems

Public and patient involvement in research, care and medical training


The European Patient Forum (EPF) Congress took place in Brussels from 12-14 November 2019. The congress focused on public and patient involvement (PPI) in research, care and medical training, and speakers included patient representatives, physicians, policy-makers, scientific journal editorials and scientists.

The experience and voice of patients is gaining more and more importance, although it is often difficult to assess how and when to involve patients. Healthcare systems are complex, designed for professionals, and rarely for or with the user of the services.

It was suggested at the congress that involving patients and citizens with various stakeholders could help create more efficient health systems and reduce unnecessary costs.

To improve healthcare systems, patients and citizens need to be involved at various levels, as their experience can help design better care and prevention programmes, adapted to their actual needs. Some patients are already involved in ethical committees, or in the development of medical studies curriculum. The Biomedical Alliance Continuous Medical Education (CME) Committee includes patients, as does the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which counts patients and citizens as its editors and also has a lay review board.

Patients’ outcomes can furthermore be used as metrics – not only for clinical trials, but also during routine practices – to create quality-of-life parameters. Involving patients from the beginning of the research selection process and study design can also improve healthcare systems


ESICM’s full report of the EPF Congress can be found here.

For more information about the congress and the EPF, click here.

More on the BMJ Patient and public Partnership here.

Resources for Patients & Families from the ESICM webpage.

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