An overview of Patient Advisory Councils and Community Advisory Councils in health care
Key take-home messages
- Patient Advisory Councils and Community Advisory Councils promote patient engagement and the development of strategies and interventions to benefit the delivery of patient care; these collaborative councils are comprised of patients and health care providers who facilitate two-way communications regarding ongoing clinic operations (Patient Advisory Councils) and local community members who provide direct feedback on ongoing community health issues (Community Advisory Councils).
- Appropriate representation of councils and increased patient engagement enhances the effectiveness of Patient Advisory Councils and Community Advisory Councils. Targeted strategies to recruit diverse populations include waiting room information booths, direct invitations from health care providers, and health registries.
- Patient engagement promotion techniques include providing council members with training and proper access to community health data. In addition, engagement increased when council members developed personal connections, council meetings and deliberations were held in a face-to-face setting, and members received intensive training related to topics discussed at meetings.
- Incentives can be used to reward members for their participation in Patient Advisory Councils and Community Advisory Councils, and can also be useful in reducing potential barriers restricting individuals from attending these groups (e.g. childcare, transportation). Incentives may increase representation and engagement of patients who would typically be affected by these barriers.
- Studies have highlighted a number of time constraint problems among councils. For example, the amount of time required to reach a consensus regarding a council decision may be higher than anticipated, which could become problematic due to the large amount of time and resources already required to run the groups. In addition, implementation evaluations are not done for every intervention implementation; therefore, members do not always receive comprehensive feedback on the impacts of Patient Advisory Council and Community Advisory Council strategies on the delivery of patient care.
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- Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
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