Include Always Logo

A warm note to visitors: we recognize that we use "patient" many times on this site, but intend to represent all health care recipients - whether that is a resident, client, customer, consumer, or patient. Thank you for your understanding!

What is Include Always?

Include Always.  That’s what we aim to do. Include patients and families at every level throughout the health care system.  Through conversations, sharing ideas, and inviting the patient in, the outcome will be better health care for everyone.  We’re not launching a campaign that begins and ends.  Together, we’re creating a cultural shift, a unified mindset where the patient is truly one of us.  It’s a whole new health care approach.  It takes a whole lot of change.  It takes courage.  It takes all of us working together to make our system the best it can be.  We will listen more, engage often and Include Always.

About Include Always: how did it start? 

In 2013, the Minnesota Hospital Association started advancing work to ensure patients and families are included as equal partners in the care delivery system. This work was due in part to initiatives and financial help from the United States Department of Health and Human Services "Partnership for Patients" campaign which seeks to decrease medical errors throughout the country.

An important part of that work is to further engage patients and families in their health care decisions and the delivery of health care services. One way to do this is to invite patients and families to serve on what is widely known as Patient and Family Advisory Councils, or PFACs, at health organizations. These councils give patients and families an opportunity to voice opinions in a variety of ways.  This could include feedback on the design of the environment or new construction projects, on the types of programs or services offered, the experience of patients and families, and very importantly, on care delivery processes that affect care quality and safety.  

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) convened their own Patient and Family Advisory Council to help guide their efforts.  Led in part by Lisa Juliar, well-known and Minnesota-based patient partner and consumer representative, the Council designed a campaign that would help health organizations always include patients and families, thus, "Include Always" was born. They enlisted Fellow, a design and advertising  firm based in Minneapolis. 

In April of 2015, MHA held a kick-off event to educate and spread best practices and ideas for how to engage patients and families. The Include Always campaign started and many health systems began to use the slogan, promotional, and educational materials to start their own councils, and find new and innovative ways to include patients and families to ensure care is the best and safest it can be. 

In the Fall of 2015, the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) began efforts to help spread this important aspect of care delivery to other settings of care, like clinics, long-term care and skilled nursing, and other unique settings of care or health organizations.  MAPS also convened a Patient and Family Engagement Planning Committee to create resources that would be helpful for patients, families, and health organizations. 

Whether it's at a clinic, hospital, skilled nursing facility, or day surgery center, MAPS is building on the work of the Minnesota Hospital Association to ensure all health organizations recognize these essential partnerships and put programs in place to ensure patients and families are always included.

Additionally, MAPS seeks to ensure there are resources available for patients and families who want to serve as official advisors and partners to health organizations. As a result, this website is built by, and for, the patients and families of Minnesota seeking to improve care quality and safety through partnerships. 

About Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS)


Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety was established in 2000 by current strategic partners, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Medical Association and Minnesota Hospital Association, as a response to the 1999 Institute of Medicine Report, "To Err is Human."

In an effort to achieve "Safe Care Everywhere" MAPS engaged a broad-based stakeholder coalition including providers, associations, regulators, purchasers, consumers, academia, and insurers. In an effort to both continue its first decade efforts and also expand efforts to all care settings, MAPS became an incorporated organization with a Board of Directors, five Strategic Partners and dedicated staff in 2012.  In its second decade MAPS will refine previous efforts and embark on new initiatives to achieve "Safe Care Everywhere."

In August, 2017, MAPS became a subsidiary of Stratis Health.  As one of MAPS' Founding members,  Stratis Health leads collaboration and innovation in health care quality and safety, and serves as a trusted expert in facilitating improvement for people and communities. Stratis Health envisions a health care system that supports an informed, activated consumer and competent, satisfied health care professionals working in settings that promote optimum care and reduce chance of error. 

About Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA)

MHA logo

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) represents Minnesota’s nonprofit hospitals and health systems, which employ more than 127,000 people, provide high-quality care for patients and meet the needs of our communities. Since 1917, MHA has worked to provide Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems with the resources, best practices and guidance to provide an exceptional patient experience and high-quality, affordable care that extends beyond the hospital’s walls.