Career Development

What Does a Clinical Liaison Do?

Find out what a clinical liaison does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a clinical liaison.

Clinical liaisons are healthcare professionals who act as a liaison between the clinical and administrative sides of an organization. They help ensure that doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. have everything they need to provide quality care to patients.

Clinical liaisons may also be responsible for ensuring that all hospital policies and procedures are being followed correctly. This might include things like making sure staff members wash their hands before treating patients or checking that medical equipment is properly cleaned and maintained.

Clinical Liaison Job Duties

A clinical liaison typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing clinical care to patients with complex medical problems who are being treated in hospitals under the supervision of another physician
  • Conducting research on new treatment methods or techniques that may improve the quality of health care provided to patients
  • Coordinating with staff from other departments such as nursing, social work, and physical therapy to ensure that patient needs are met
  • Acting as a liaison between patients, their families, and other members of their healthcare team
  • Scheduling appointments and following up with patients to ensure that they keep their appointments
  • Preparing reports on patient progress, which may be sent to insurance companies or other third parties involved in patient care
  • Educating patients and their families about their conditions and treatment plans
  • Following up with patients after they have been discharged from the hospital to ensure that they are recovering well from their treatments
  • Coordinating with other members of the healthcare team to ensure that all orders are followed correctly

Clinical Liaison Salary & Outlook

Clinical liaisons’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of organization they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $106,000 ($50.96/hour)

The employment of clinical liaisons is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As healthcare providers continue to consolidate, clinical liaisons will be needed to help coordinate care across multiple facilities and providers. Clinical liaisons also will be needed to educate patients about their treatment options and ensure that they understand the information provided.

Related: Clinical Liaison Interview Questions and Answers

Clinical Liaison Job Requirements

A clinical liaison typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require clinical liaisons to have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, such as nursing, health care administration or health care management. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in health administration or health care management.

Training & Experience: Clinical liaisons often receive on-the-job training in their role. This training may include shadowing a current clinical liaison or learning from a supervisor. Clinical liaisons may also receive training in the clinical setting they work in. For example, a clinical liaison in a hospital may receive training in the hospital’s policies and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not required to become a clinical liaison, they can be beneficial for those looking to become a CL. These professionals can earn certifications to gain additional knowledge about their responsibilities, test their skills and further advance their career.

Clinical Liaison Skills

Clinical liaisons need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Clinical liaisons communicate with many different people throughout their workday. They may communicate with patients, medical staff, insurance representatives, patients’ families and other hospital staff. This requires them to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. They also need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely to ensure everyone understands each other.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. Clinical liaisons often use empathy to help patients understand their treatment plan and the reasoning behind it. For example, if a patient is concerned about a treatment plan that includes a medication that might cause side effects, a clinical liaison might use empathy to explain the reasoning behind the treatment plan and the potential benefits of the treatment.

Problem-solving: Clinical liaisons often work with multiple departments to solve problems for patients. For example, if a patient has a scheduling conflict, a clinical liaison might work with the scheduling department to find an alternative time for the patient to see a doctor. Clinical liaisons also work with other departments to solve patient issues, such as billing or insurance issues.

Organization: Clinical liaisons often have to manage multiple tasks at once, so it’s important for them to have strong organizational skills. You may be responsible for scheduling appointments, managing patient files and updating patient records. Being able to manage your time effectively and prioritize tasks is also important for clinical liaisons.

Time management: Clinical liaisons often have multiple responsibilities, so it’s important for them to manage their time effectively. This can help them complete their tasks on time and prioritize the most important ones. For example, clinical liaisons may need to schedule appointments, check in with patients and update medical records. They can use their time management skills to ensure they complete all of their duties in a timely manner.

Clinical Liaison Work Environment

Clinical liaisons typically work in hospitals, but may also work in outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, or other settings. They typically work full time, but may be on call or work irregular hours to meet the needs of their patients. Clinical liaisons may be required to travel to meet with patients, families, or other health care professionals. They may also work with a multidisciplinary team that includes nurses, social workers, physicians, and other health care professionals.

Clinical Liaison Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical liaisons work. Clinical liaisons will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Communication Between Providers and Patients

The trend of patients wanting better communication with their providers is growing rapidly, as more and more people become aware of the importance of having a strong patient-doctor relationship.

Clinical liaisons are in a unique position to capitalize on this trend, as they are often the first point of contact between patients and providers. By developing strong relationships with both parties, clinical liaisons can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all questions are answered.

Patient Advocacy Will Become More Important

As healthcare becomes more complex, patient advocacy will become increasingly important. This means that clinical liaisons will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and understand their needs.

In order to be successful in this field, clinical liaisons will need to be able to build trust with patients and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their care. They will also need to be able to work with other members of the healthcare team to ensure that patients get the best possible care.

More Collaboration Between Healthcare Professionals

The trend of increased collaboration between healthcare professionals is becoming more and more common as hospitals and clinics strive to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Clinical liaisons are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they are responsible for connecting different departments within a hospital or clinic and making sure that everyone is working towards the same goal. By understanding how to collaborate with others, clinical liaisons can help to create a more efficient and effective healthcare system.

How to Become a Clinical Liaison

A clinical liaison career can be a great way to get started in the healthcare field. As a clinical liaison, you’ll work with patients and their families to coordinate care and ensure that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their treatment plan.

This role is perfect for people who are compassionate and patient, and who enjoy helping others. It’s also a great way to learn more about different specialties within medicine and how they work together to provide optimal care.

Advancement Prospects

Clinical liaisons typically have a background in nursing or a related field, and many have a master’s degree. With experience, clinical liaisons can move into management positions, such as director of clinical liaison services. Some clinical liaisons may also become sales representatives for medical equipment or pharmaceutical companies.

Clinical Liaison Job Description Example

The Clinical Liaison is responsible for maintaining relationships with key referral sources, conducting educational programs for referral sources and their staff, and promoting the continuum of care within the assigned territory. The Clinical Liaison will collaborate with the multi-disciplinary team to ensure quality patient care and customer satisfaction. The Clinical Liaison will also be responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities within the assigned territory.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of two years of experience in a similar role, as well as a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field. He or she must be a self-starter with the ability to work independently, as well as be an excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing. The Clinical Liaison must also be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and have a valid driver’s license.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key referral sources in the assigned territory
  • Educate potential referral sources on the continuum of care offered by the organization, as well as the process for making referrals
  • Attend industry events and trade shows to promote the organization’s services
  • Develop and give presentations to groups of referral sources and/or potential customers
  • Respond to inquiries from referral sources and potential customers in a timely manner
  • Serve as a resource for referral sources and potential customers, providing information on the organization’s services, admissions criteria, and insurance requirements
  • Keep abreast of changes in the healthcare industry that could impact referral sources and/or potential customers
  • Monitor competitor activities in the assigned territory and report findings to the Director of Clinical Liaison
  • Achieve monthly, quarterly, and annual targets for admissions
  • Prepare reports on a regular basis documenting activities and results in the assigned territory
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Maintain current knowledge of all state and federal regulations related to the provision of healthcare services

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in health care, business administration, or related field
  • 3-5 years of experience in a health care setting, with knowledge of clinical operations
  • Proven ability to develop relationships and influence change
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in health care, business administration, or related field
  • Experience working in a hospital or other acute care setting
  • Knowledge of accreditation standards (JCAHO, CMS, etc.)
  • Familiarity with process improvement tools and techniques ( Six Sigma, Lean, etc.)
  • Certification in project management (PMP)


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