Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Transforming health care through partnerships

Peer Support Success Factors

Experienced leaders and research confirm the following Success Factors as essential to sustaining peer support programs:

  • The design and implementation team, co-lead by patients and families, includes physicians, nurses, social workers, and non-clinical department members (e.g., marketing, public relations, volunteer services);
  • There is an institutional commitment to patient- and family-centered care, demonstrated through alignment with its mission and goals, and incorporated into its strategic plan and budget;
  • Policies, procedures, responsibilities, and expectations are clearly defined and communicated;
  • Clinicians and staff understand the value of peer support, refer patients and families, and participate in recruiting volunteers;
  • Peer volunteers reflect the diversity of patients and families served;
  • Peer volunteers receive orientation, training, ongoing education, supervision, and support;
  • Peer volunteers are honored and recognized for their contributions; and
  • Process and impact is measured; progress and outcomes are reported and incorporated into ongoing quality improvement efforts.