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Patients have important role in HealthPartners Institute research

Listening to feedback from patient advisors helps shape our research and what we do in our clinics and hospitals

Patients are at the center of our work at HealthPartners Institute. We use patient advisors to help us make sure our research is easy to understand. We want people to use what we learn through our studies.

Karen Margolis, MD, MPH, is a researcher at HealthPartners Institute. She and her team are using advisors to help improve the research they are doing with the Hyperlink 3 study. This study looks at how regular checks with medical professionals can help people stay with goals to lower blood pressure. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds the study. They require patients to be involved in all studies.

“Our goal is to make sure this research is useful and understandable to patients,” Dr. Margolis said.

At one study meeting, patient advisors watched two researchers act out a clinic visit. One researcher played a pharmacist. The other played a patient. They went through ways to lower blood pressure. Then the patient advisors then gave their feedback on the mock visit.

“I think the role-play was one of the most important activities for both the research team and our advisors,” Dr. Margolis said. “It made us think about how to make a clinic visit better for a patient.”

All of these efforts make research more relevant. And Dr. Margolis says she hopes her study results can be used more effectively because patients are part of the process.

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