Small group meeting at table

Advisors are patients and family members who collaborate with health care professionals to improve health care quality, safety, equity, and experience. Advisors share their insights and perspectives about the care provided, identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, and assist in implementation and evaluation of changes.

If you are just getting started and don’t know where to begin, think of any process or project undergoing review or that is in the planning phase. Invite and prepare patients and families to participate on a work group. If you have an established patient and family advisory council or experience with advisors, continue to search for opportunities to expand their involvement.

The roles that patient and family advisors can play are nearly limitless. They include the following:

  • Members of in-person or virtual patient and family advisory councils
  • Members of task forces, work groups, or interdisciplinary committees such as:
    • Patient experience
    • Quality and safety
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Patient and family education
    • Staff and clinician education
    • Health information technology
    • Ethics
    • Research
    • Community relations
    • Pandemic planning and response
  • Members of quality improvement teams
  • Reviewers and co-authors of patient and family educational and informational materials
  • Peer educators/coaches/mentors for other patients and families
  • Faculty for new employee orientation, continuing education of health care professionals, and education of students and trainees
  • Members of teams involved in facility design, renovation, and wayfinding improvements
  • Members of committees hiring new leaders and key staff
  • Members of boards of trustees or board-level committees
  • Partners in health care research planning, conducting, and disseminating efforts
  • Ambassadors and speakers at community outreach events
  • Speakers at conferences/participants in working meetings