[PDF] Collective intelligence in patient organisations

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Publication date:
01 July 2015


This report looks at the often unsung but increasingly important work of patient organisations as knowledge brokers. Patient organisations have played a significant role in networks of health and social care for almost a century. Much of this work has been highly visible; they act as public voices for patients, fundraise, research, campaign, educate, advocate, and provide support services. But we argue that their participation in knowledge work is critical and over coming decades will become one of the most important ways they will advance the interests of patients. As collectives with varied members and activities patient organisations are uniquely capable of building relationships across sectors and cultures, easing the flow of information throughout the network, enhancing its capacity to gather and distribute information and to produce new insights. This can enhance individual participants’ knowledge and effectiveness and the collective intelligence of the entire healthcare system.