Qualities of Successful Patient Advisors:
- Listen well and consider other’s perspectives
- Willing to share their individual perspectives and experiences
- Represent different backgrounds and experiences with healthcare than each other
- Feel comfortable giving constructive criticism
- Are not motivated by a single personal agenda
- Have a sense of humor
- Have insight into different experiences of care than
- Connect well with others
- Motivated to be part of an improvement process within the clinic
- Understand that healthcare is complex – some issues are easier to resolve than others.
- Waiting room advertisement and sign up sheet
- Provider referrals
- Staff referrals
- Spouse referrals – if a patient agrees and their spouse or friend is also a patient, ask them to bring that person along!
- Cherry pick from a one-time feedback session – advertise a meeting in the clinic to address an issue that the clinic needs feedback on and ask those who demonstrate qualities of a strong advisor to join a PFAC thereafter. Or ask patients after their appointments to meet briefly to give in person feedback and reach out to those who were able to provide insightful, meaningful feedback.
- Community referrals – Reach out to nearby community organizations that are highly utilized by patients to advertise the PFAB sign up or to give recommendations of known mutual patients.
Avoid These Recruitment Pitfalls:
- If provider/staff referrals are used, encourage providers and staff to think about the qualities listed above and avoid selecting a skewed group of patients such as former healthcare workers, those who can only sign the clinic’s praises, etc.
- Recruiting patients that accurately represent the different backgrounds and experiences of your clinic is most helpful, but you do not need to wait until you have the perfect sample to start. A 30 minute wait to schedule an appointment is a problem for everyone!