The BMJ launched an innovative strategy to promote patient partnership in 2014. It took this step because it sees partnering with patients, their families, carers and support communities, and the public as an ethical imperative, which is essential to improving the quality, safety, value, and sustainability of health systems.
The strategy has seen the journal move to co-produce its content with patients and advancing international debate on how to embed meaningful partnership with patients in clinical practice, service delivery, research, education, and policy. The strategy was drawn up with and continues to be informed by a dedicated international patient advisory panel.
The internal changes that The BMJ have introduced are making patient partnership integral to the way the journal works and thinks, as well as something we advocate for in healthcare. Steps taken include:
- Asking authors of educational articles to co-produce their papers with patients.
- Authors of research papers are required to document how they involved patients in setting the research question, the outcome measures, the design and implementation of the study, and the dissemination of its results.
- Embedding patient review of papers alongside our standard peer review processes. To do this we have established a database of patients, patients advocates, and carers to comment on papers. We welcome readers help to build this further by extending this invitation to patients.
- Appointing patients and patient advocates to our editorial board and patient editors Leah Hardy and Michael Mittelman to bring the patients' perspective to discussions conducted by internal decision making committees.
- Inviting blogs from patients and publishing a patient led series called What your patient is thinking.
In recognition of the journals initiative The BMJ was the first medical journal to receive a "Patients Included" certificate in 2015.
The BMJ supports the “Patients Included” campaign. We are adopting its key principles for the conferences we runs and extending it to those we form media partnerships with. We also support initiatives to share the full medical record with patients and promote ownership of them. We view full access to personal health records as a fundamental right, and an important contributor to patient safety, health literacy, shared decision making, and the promotion of self care.
- "What your patient is thinking" articles
- Guidance for writing "What your patient is thinking" articles
- "Patient journey" articles
- Shared decision making articles
- Patient perspectives blogs
- Editorial: Making patient relevant clinical research a reality (2016)
- Editorial: Co-creating health: more than a dream (2016)
- Analysis: “Nothing about us without us”—patient partnership in medical conferences (2016)
- Editorial: Logging The BMJ’s “patient journey” (2015)
- Editorial: Time to deliver patient centred care (2015)
- Editorial: The BMJ’s own patient journey (2014)
- Editorial: Let the patient revolution begin (2013)
- Tessa Richards is The BMJ's patient partnership editor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- "What your patient is thinking" articles are edited by patient editor Leah Hardy. You can contact her at email@example.com