Updated: Feb 19
Whether you're faced with navigating the healthcare system or a complicated medical condition, having a Patient Advocate on your side can make all the difference.
A Patient Advocate is a professional who acts as a liaison between patients and the healthcare system. They are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and support throughout their medical journey. In this blog post, we'll explore the role of Patient Advocates, and why patients and their families should consider hiring one, .
Who can benefit from Patient Advocacy?
Adult children of aging parents are called upon to help parents manage their growing medical, financial, and other needs. Simultaneously juggling work obligations and caring for their children can leave them exhausted. Singles and solo agers require a healthy partner to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. Friends or family can not always reliably fill this role.
Healthy Elders need protection from over-testing, too aggressive treatments and avoidable hospitalizations.
Hospitalized patients and their families need a Patient Advocate to represent their needs and wants to the medical and nursing staff. The families need a guide to the alien hospital environment and guidance on how to support the patient.
Everybody: A Patient Advocate can anticipate and prevent health issues thus forestalling serious medical problems, surgeries and hospitalizations.
In each of these scenarios, a Patient Advocate can provide a vital link between patients and their healthcare providers, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.
What is the role of a Patient Advocate and how can they help patients or their loved ones? How is this achieved?
A Patient Advocate oversees a patient’s healthcare journey holistically, including attention to nutrition, physical activity and sleep. Medical care is managed by prioritizing, coordinating and consolidating primary and specialist care.
Some of the roles and responsibilities of a Patient Advocate are:
Listen to patients and their family members to understand their concerns and priorities. Additionally an Advocate prepares for appointments by anticipating physicians' questions and procuring answers ahead of time.
Guide patients and family members to choose the best doctors and to use their time in the most efficient way by raising questions in a concise and professional manner. The Patient Advocate will not hesitate to ask, and follow up, until all questions are answered. Afterwards s/he will explain the answers in detail to patient and family. Further questions can often be clarified by the Patient Advocate or put to the physician through the Patient Portal.
Empower patients to make the best possible decisions by explaining tests, diagnoses and physicians’ recommendations. This is pivotal as diverse treatments are now frequently put as a choice before the patient. Having a fact based professional by their side can make all the difference.
Relieve patients and families of time consuming tasks like managing multiple appointments and communications with (and between) providers.
In conclusion, if you are healthy - retain a Patient Advocate to prevent small issues from turning into big problems, endangering your health and independence.
If you are struggling with today’s complex and overwhelming health care system - a Patient Advocate can put you back in control, free up your time and give you peace of mind, while helping you achieve your best possible health.