The promotion of active patient participation in healthcare quality improvement projects is an important policy goal in the Netherlands and other Western countries. Healthcare quality improvement is no longer perceived to be an exclusive professional activity; patients, who may be able and willing to participate, are also expected to assume an active role in this respect. For example, they are expected to be actively involved in the improvement of their own healthcare by searching for relevant health information on the Internet and in the healthcare of others by sharing their thoughts with healthcare professionals on how to achieve health service improvement solutions. This book explores how the active role(s) of patients are shaped within these quality improvement initiatives and what this means for the activities expected from patients. It reveals that active patientship is constructed in interaction with other human actors (e.g. healthcare professionals, managers) and nonhuman actors (e.g. healthcare policy and health IT aimed at facilitating patients’ activities) in practice. This finding demonstrates that active patientship is par excellence dependent on the specific context of the patient. Because active patientship involves many different aspects of healthcare (e.g. health IT, professionals’ roles, etc.) active patient system might be a more suitable term to use when referring to a more active role of patients in healthcare quality improvement.

The research was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Innovation Budget of the Institute of Health Policy & Management, and MijnZorgnet.
K. Putters (Kim) , S.A. Adams (Samantha) , K.J. Grit (Kor)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Vennik, F. (2016, June 24). Interacting Patients: The construction of active patientship in quality improvement initiatives. Retrieved from