What patient advisors do--and why your practice needs one

AMA Wire
Email this page

Hospitals and health systems are using patient and family advisors to help them reach the Triple Aim—better quality of care, lower cost and greater satisfaction with care delivery—tapping insights directly from people who have to navigate the patient side of the world of health care. Physicians can take these learnings and apply them to their own practices in ambulatory settings to help them achieve better care, smarter spending and healthier, happier patients.

Partnering with patients and families can help patients make more informed choices about their care, use medications more safely and better manage chronic disease, according to the Roadmap for Patient and Family Engagement in Healthcare that includes a video of their vision of a transformed system involving patients and families. Physicians can apply these ideas to their own practices by selecting patient and family advisors to share their experiences.

A patient and family advisor is someone who:

  • Gives feedback based on his or her own experiences as a patient or family member of someone with a chronic disease
  • Helps improve the patient experience and quality of care for those with chronic conditions
  • Works with the practice team for either short- or long-term commitments

These advisors can help you ensure your practice is focused on patient-centered care needs and aren’t just making assumptions about what patients and their families want. Advisors can identify things that can be improved in your practice from a patient perspective and share ideas about how to make sure other patients and families get the best health care possible and have a positive experience.

Patients and family advisors can:

  • Share their stories. Advisors can provide insight by talking about their health care experiences with physicians, staff and other patients.
  • Review or help create patient materials. Advisors provide a patient perspective and can help make forms or educational handouts easier for patients and family members to understand and use.
  • Partner with the community. Advisors can discuss what programs or resources are available or could be offered in the community to help support patient self-management of chronic conditions.

A new AMA resource (log in required) gives you everything you need to know about recruiting and engaging patient and family advisors in your practice, developed as part of the AMA’s Improving Health Outcomes initiative.

The AMA, participating physicians and care teams are working with researchers at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to develop, test and spread evidence-based recommendations on improving blood pressure control that provide practical tools for physician practices and health centers, including the patient and family advisor recruitment guide and onboarding toolkit.

Email this page


Certainly lets get as many people as possible away from the physician .we could creat a new position a week to do what is already done .If someone wishes to volunteer and become this great director free great Otherwise let's apply the constrained healthcare dollars in much needed more vital areas
Advisor's for patient need keen interest in healthy meaning of wellbeing and shall cover all the parameters of medical facts.The individual could be from machine to human in status for patient care.
Many progressive practices focused on patient outcomes are already incorporating "patient advisors", they typically have more professional titles. It is now time for all Pain Management physicians prescribing narcotics on a continual basis to be held accountable for medically supervised detox for any patient whose narcotic dosage is decreased by more than 30 - 40% at a time. Far too many "pain doctors" have provided the prescriptions that cause physical dependence but have no regard and no responsibility for sending a patient into acute withdrawals whenever opiates are decreased significantly. EVERY practice that treats chronic pain with narcotics should be mandated to have some type of opiate addiction specialist on staff for anyone exhibiting addictive behaviors AND anyone whose narcotic dosage is cut or discontinued. Doctors should NOT be allowed to knowingly cause the severe sickness and pain inflicted on patients who became dependent as a result of that same physician's treatment plan. Far too many physicians who started pain management clinics for noble reasons have, over the years become disillusioned and dissatisfied with the typical chronic pain patient and now use narcotic prescriptions as a tool to force unnecessary procedures, under the threat of discontinuing their medications for noncompliance. We WILL see a change in this field over the coming years.
Show Comments (3)
Apr 21, 2017
Recent studies reveal that physicians’ gestures, language and level of warmth can have an impact that exceeds patients’ subjective experience of care.