Client and Family Advisors
Who is a client and family advisor?
- A person who has received care within the past few years and/or has had multiple past experiences being a client of Eastern Health; and/or
- a family member of a client who has had or is currently having an experience of care with Eastern Health; and
- a person who is willing to share his/her experiences of care to make a positive impact in health care.
The word client also refers to patient (inpatients and outpatients), and residents of long-term care facilities.
What is the role of a client and family advisor?
The role of a client and family advisor is to:
- bring the client and family perspective to the table to facilitate decision-making;
- volunteer their time (about one to four hours per month);
- support and encourage others to be involved and/or share information from other client and families of Eastern Health to support improvements in care;
- participate in a variety of ways to improve care, such as inputting into new policies, facility planning and client surveys;
- improve communication between clients, families and staff; and to
- attend meetings, planned events, learning opportunities, and/or participate in focus groups.
What are some of the ways client and family advisors may participate?
There are a variety of ways that client and family advisors can help improve care. For example, a client and family advisor may be asked to provide input or help with short-term projects or activities, such as a review of program pamphlets or signage, design or re-design of services or facilities, or assistance with surveys and questionnaires to help us evaluate services. They may be asked to join an advisory council, or participate in a longer term project such as Baby Friendly Initiative or Stroke Process Improvement.
Some examples of advisory councils include: Cancer Care Patient and Family Advisory Council, Medicine Client and Family Advisory Council, Long Term Care Regional Resident and Family Advisory Council.
This work is supported by the CFCC Engagement Framework. The key to integrated and successful patient engagement is matching the right approach, to the right situation, at the right time – and often using more than one approach to achieve the intended goal. For more info about the engagement framework, read the CFCC Impact Report (PDF).
What are the benefits of volunteering as client and family advisor?
There are many benefits with being a client and family advisor at Eastern Health, including the opportunity to:
- be part of a meaningful change and to contribute to the provision of excellence in health-care delivery;
- share and gain knowledge, skills and expertise related to health-care delivery;
- provide a client and family perspective in approaching challenges and work together in partnership with health-care professionals to develop innovative solutions; and
- share stories and experiences to enhance and improve the overall client and family care experience in health care.
Are there any special requirements?
Client and family advisors must have had experience receiving care with Eastern Health during the last few years either as a client or as family member of a client.
Advisors can make a short-term or long-term voluntary commitment. Upon acceptance, advisors are required to attend orientation sessions. No special training is required.
Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity?
Apply to become a client and family advisor.
Client and Family Advisory Councils and partnerships
What is a Client and Family Advisory Council?
A Client and Family Advisory Council gives clients and families a way to be active in improving health care.
Advisory Councils provide a collaborative approach to health care that shapes policies, programs, facility design and staff day-to-day interactions. Advisory Councils lead to better health outcomes, and greater client and family satisfaction.
Advisory councils consist of volunteer clients, patients, residents and family members who can provide a client and family voice, and who partner with staff and/or physicians to improve experiences of care. These volunteers are called client and family advisors. Client and family advisors play a valuable role in helping to ensure the best client experience at Eastern Health.
Our commitment to meaningful client and family engagement and support for the advisor role is demonstrated in our People Centred Care – Client and Family Engagement policy (PDF).