Career Development

What Does a Patient Liaison Do?

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

Patient liaisons are healthcare professionals who work with patients to ensure that they have a positive experience when interacting with the health care system. They may be responsible for handling any issues or concerns that arise during treatment, as well as providing general support and information about services provided by the hospital or clinic.

Patient Liaison Job Duties

Patient liaisons have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Act as an intermediary between hospitals and patients, helping to resolve patient issues
  • Coordinate with insurance companies to ensure that bills are paid on time and that insurance claims are processed accurately
  • Educate patients about their condition, treatment options, and other aspects of care
  • Explain treatment procedures and answer patients’ questions regarding their care
  • Provide emotional support to patients and their families during times of stress or crisis
  • Assist in medical recordkeeping, including keeping track of appointments, updating patient charts with new information, and communicating with other members of the healthcare team
  • Coordinate with social workers and discharge planners to arrange for post-discharge care such as home care, outpatient therapy, and nutrition services
  • Arrange for transportation to and from appointments and other activities, including arranging for taxi service or car rentals
  • Provide outreach services to patients who are not able to communicate effectively due to language barriers or other needs, working with interpreters and other staff members to ensure effective communication

Patient Liaison Salary & Outlook

Patient liaisons are typically paid hourly, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,500 ($43.03/hour)

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

Patient liaison jobs are expected to be in demand as healthcare providers continue to focus on improving customer service and reducing wait times for patients. In addition, the aging population is expected to increase demand for patient liaison services because older people tend to have more complex medical needs.

Related: Patient Liaison Interview Questions and Answers

Patient Liaison Job Requirements

A patient liaison typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most patient liaisons have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as nursing or social work. Some patient liaisons may also have a master’s degree in health administration or public health.

Training & Experience: Patient liaisons receive most of their training on the job. They may receive instruction on the hospital’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. They may also receive instruction on the hospital’s patient population and the services they offer.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not usually required for patient liaisons, they may be desired by employers or necessary to gain entry to the profession.

Patient Liaison Skills

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

Communication: Patient liaisons often communicate with patients and their families to answer questions, provide information and address concerns. They may also communicate with medical staff to relay patient requests or concerns. Effective communication skills can help you to convey information clearly and answer questions accurately.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. As a patient liaison, you may be the first person a patient speaks to after they’ve been admitted to the hospital. This means you may be the first person to explain their diagnosis and treatment plan. Being empathetic can help you communicate with patients and their families, which can help them feel more comfortable and confident about their care.

Organization: Patient liaisons often have to manage multiple tasks at once. You can improve your ability to stay organized by keeping a to-do list and calendar. This can help you prioritize your tasks and ensure you complete all of your responsibilities. You can also use your organizational skills to help your team stay on track.

Time management: Patient liaisons often have multiple responsibilities, so it’s important for them to manage their time well. You may be responsible for scheduling appointments, answering questions from patients and updating patient files. You may also be responsible for handling complaints from patients and communicating with insurance companies.

Problem-solving: Patient liaisons often work with patients to find solutions to their problems. For example, if a patient is unhappy with their treatment plan, the liaison may work with them to find a solution that makes them more comfortable. Patient liaisons also use their problem-solving skills to help patients navigate the health care system.

Patient Liaison Work Environment

Patient liaisons typically work in hospitals or other healthcare settings. They may also travel to visit patients in their homes or other locations. They typically work full time, and some positions may require evening or weekend work. Patient liaisons typically work under the supervision of a manager or supervisor. They may also work with other patient liaisons, healthcare professionals, and support staff.

Patient Liaison Trends

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

Patient Experience Will Become More Important

The patient experience is becoming more important in healthcare as patients are looking for more personalized care. This means that patient liaisons will need to be able to create a positive experience for patients and their families.

Patient liaisons can play an important role in creating a positive experience by helping patients and their families feel comfortable and informed about their care. They can also help to coordinate communication between patients and doctors, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team.

Patients Want Better Communication With Their Doctors

Patients want better communication with their doctors in order to feel more involved in their care. This trend is leading to an increased demand for patient liaison professionals who can help bridge the gap between patients and doctors.

As patients become more interested in their own care, they will look for professionals who can help them communicate with their doctors. This makes patient liaisons extremely valuable, as they can help patients understand their treatment plan and feel more comfortable with their doctor.

Healthcare Reform Continues to Grow

The healthcare industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, which means that patient liaison professionals will be in high demand.

As the healthcare system expands, hospitals and clinics will need more patient liaison professionals to help manage the influx of patients. These professionals will be responsible for everything from greeting patients to answering questions about procedures and treatments.

How to Become a Patient Liaison

A career as a patient liaison is a great way to use your communication skills and help people. As a patient liaison, you’ll be in contact with patients and their families, so it’s important that you have a caring attitude and are able to listen carefully. You should also be able to explain medical procedures and treatments in simple terms so that patients understand what’s going on.

To become a patient liaison, you can start by volunteering at a hospital or clinic. This will give you experience working with patients and their families, and you can learn about the different departments and how they work together. You can also take online courses in healthcare administration and patient relations.

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more education. A patient liaison with only a high school diploma may advance to a position as a medical assistant or a medical office manager with additional education. With even more education, a patient liaison could become a registered nurse, a physician, or a health administrator.

A patient liaison with strong people skills and a desire to help others may advance to a position as a patient advocate. Patient advocates help patients navigate the healthcare system, understand their rights, and obtain the best possible care. They may work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings, or they may be self-employed.

Patient Liaison Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], our mission is to provide the highest quality of care to our patients. We are looking for a patient liaison to join our team. The patient liaison will be responsible for ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care by coordinating with the medical team, providing support to patients and their families, and advocating for our patients. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to multitask and handle a fast-paced environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for patients, families, and visitors
  • Answer patient and visitor questions, providing information and directing them to the appropriate resources
  • Escort patients and visitors to their destinations within the facility
  • Monitor waiting areas and ensure they are clean and comfortable
  • Assist with admissions and discharge processes
  • Transport patients as needed
  • Handle patient concerns and complaints in a professional and compassionate manner
  • Serve as a resource for staff, providing information and support as needed
  • Maintain confidentiality of all patient information
  • Attend meetings and training sessions as required
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience working with patients in a medical setting
  • Empathetic and compassionate personality
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Strong organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in psychology, social work, or related field
  • Experience working in a hospital setting
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Cultural competence


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