A patient liaison wearing blue scrubs talks on the phone at a white desk, with a dark overlay.

If you’ve ever had to navigate the American healthcare system, you know it’s extremely complex. As we age and our health issues increase, we become more involved in this system, and — in some cases — less prepared to navigate its challenges.

The good news is that like any professional service industry, there are specialists who can help you navigate the complexity. These people are called patient liaisons. Let’s see how a patient liaison can improve your life and keep your healthcare on track, whether the patient is you or someone you love.

How a Patient Liaison Helps

A patient liaison is like a personal assistant for your healthcare, an aide with specialized expertise in the medical system.

Patient liaisons work on behalf of patients, facilitating communication between patients and care providers. Different organizations offer different patient liaison services, such as:

  • Scheduling appointments or testing
  • Confirming prescriptions are called into the right place
  • Accompanying a patient to the hospital
  • Developing a detailed care plan
  • Assisting families in positive decision making
  • Assessing a patient’s home for dangers of falls, injury, or sickness
  • Monitoring medications to ensure a patient isn’t taking duplicate doses
  • Helping a patient understand any tests they’re undergoing
  • Filling the gaps between home-health visits by checking to ensure a patient has food in the fridge and medication in the pillbox
  • Assisting a patient during an emergency room visit

Helpful for all of us, patient liaisons can be particularly beneficial for elderly patients who don’t have family close by, or whose family can’t always be present to assist.

And as helpful as they are for patients, patient liaisons can also serve as support for caregivers. By helping to bear the administrative and logistical burden, patient liaisons significantly reduce stress and strain on caregivers.

Infographic: How a Patient Liaison Makes Huge Difference in Your Life

Patient Liaison Qualifications

Patient liaisons provide a critically important service in our healthcare system. From helping patients and families make impactful, care-based decisions to sorting minutiae, they’re a one-stop shop for coordinating all your healthcare needs.

You can see, then, why it’s important to select a well-qualified person to fill this role. So what characteristics should you be looking for when you’re searching for a patient liaison?

I suggest finding a match in these three areas:

  1. Certification. A patient liaison should have some form of state certification, though the name and type of certification may vary.
  2. Personality. Look for someone whose personality and community style fit well with the patient and their caregiver. A patient liaison is a helper role, so it’s best filled by someone the patient likes.
  3. References. Ask for a list of recent references, including the types of patients they’ve worked for and enjoy working with. Also find out what specific tasks the patient liaison has experience with. Because the role is broad, you may find a wide variety of experience among candidates.

Quote: How a Patient Liaison Makes a Huge Difference in Your Life


An oft-overlooked role, patient liaisons can provide boundless benefit to patients and caregivers alike. An experienced, certified patient liaison can help you navigate the complexities of the medical system, so you can concentrate on your health.

David C. Rosenberg

Dr. David Rosenberg

Dr. Rosenberg is a board-certified Family Physician who obtained a BS in Chemistry at Georgia's Mercer University in 1983 and a medical degree from the University of Miami in 1988. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1991 and then practiced Emergency Medicine at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center for two years. In 1993 he started private practice in Jupiter.

Dr. Rosenberg has been married to his wife Mary for 38 years and they have three grown children together. Some of his interests include being a huge baseball fan, sailing, snow skiing, self-development, and learning to play piano.