The perspectives of patients and families can inform local, state, federal, and international agency policy and program development. These agencies, along with accrediting and licensing bodies, are in a position to set expectations and develop reimbursement incentives that encourage and support patient and family engagement in healthcare decision making at all levels. Policies developed and issued by these agencies also affect programs in graduate and undergraduate schools for health professions and health care administrators. For these reasons, these agencies are in an excellent position to support initiatives that build the collaboration of patients, families, health care professionals, and agency personnel.
Patients can participate in the development and dissemination of tools, information, and educational materials. Research presents another opportunity for patients to be a source of data and act as co-researchers contributing to the design, planning, and execution of research.