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atom Advisors

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Patient and Family Engagement in Healthcare Quality Improvement

When you or your family member was in the hospital or nursing home, did you think there were things that could have been done better? Or, did you have an especially good experience you wish would always be continued or wish everyone would do? Do you want to give feedback to your primary care physician or home health agency? Do you have ideas about how to make sure other patients/residents and families get the best care possible?

Engaged patients can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. atom Alliance wants to help patients, families and healthcare professionals work together as partners to promote improvements in care.

Consider becoming an atom Advisor to give us feedback and ideas to help us improve the quality and safety of healthcare in your community.

We Want To Hear From YOU!

Curious? Please review the documents below. To learn more about becoming an advisor, enter your contact information in the form to the right. You will receive an email or phone call from someone in your state who will give you more information about connecting you to healthcare providers who want to hear from engaged volunteers like you.

Join us. Together we can work to make healthcare the best it can be!








Resources for Medicare Beneficiaries (May 2016)
Resources for Medicare Beneficiaries (May 2016)

Preview: Resources for Medicare Beneficiaries (May 2016)
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2.66 MB | Last Updated: May 23, 2016

atom Advisory Council Charter
atom Advisory Council Charter

Preview: atom Advisory Council Charter
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419.96 KB | Last Updated: June 27, 2016

atom Advisory Council FAQs
atom Advisory Council FAQs

Preview: atom Advisory Council FAQs
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869.44 KB | Last Updated: October 7, 2015

atom Advisory Council Application
atom Advisory Council Application

Preview: atom Advisory Council Application
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198.71 KB | Last Updated: October 7, 2015

What is a patient and family advisor?

A patient and family advisor is someone who:

  • Wants to help improve the quality of care for all patients and family members
  • Gives feedback to the healthcare provider based on his or her own experiences as a patient or family member
  • Helps us plan changes to improve how we take care of patients
  • Works with the healthcare team for either short- or long-term commitments, depending on the project
  • Volunteers his or her time

atom Advisors provide a voice that represents all patients and families of patients who receive care. They partner with atom Alliance staff, doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators to help improve the quality of care for all patients and family members.

Who can be a patient and family advisor?

You do not need any special qualifications to be an advisor. What’s most important is your experience as a patient/resident or family member. We will provide you with any other training you need.

What do patient and family advisors do?
  • Share your story. Advisors help by talking about their health care experiences with clinicians, staff, and other patients.
  • Participate in discussion groups. Advisors tell us what it’s like to be a patient/resident and what we can do to improve.
  • Review or help create educational or informational materials. Advisors help review or create materials like forms, health information handouts, and discharge instructions. Advisors help us make these materials easier for all patients and family members to understand and use.
  • Work on short-term projects you care about. We sometimes ask advisors to partner with us in making improvements — for example, helping to plan and design a family resource room.
  • Serve on a patient and family advisory council. An advisory council discusses and plans changes to improve hospital/nursing home quality and safety. Members include patients, family members, and hospital/nursing home staff.
Is being a patient and family advisor right for you?

Being a patient and family advisor may be a good match with your skills and experiences if you can:

  • Speak up and share suggestions and potential solutions to help improve care for others
  • Talk about your experiences as a patient or family member – but also think beyond your own personal experiences
  • Talk about both positive and negative care experiences and share your thoughts on what went well and how things could have been done differently
  • Work with people who may be different than you
  • Listen to and think about what others say, even when you disagree
  • Bring a positive attitude to discussions
  • Keep any information you may hear as an advisor private and confidential
Can patients really improve healthcare?

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), research shows that when patients are engaged in their healthcare, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. atom Alliance wants to help patients, families and healthcare professionals work together as partners to promote improvements in care.

Our primary strategies for promoting patient and family engagement are to:

  • Encourage patients and family members to participate as advisors in a variety of healthcare settings including primary care practices, home health agencies, nursing homes and hospitals.
  • Promote better communication among patients, family members and healthcare professionals.
  • Implement safe continuity of care by keeping the patient and family informed and engaging patients and families in discharge planning throughout a hospital stay.