Do you know what a patient advocate is? Have you heard that term before? If not, it’s ok. They can be an imperative part of your health care, so we wanted to explain what the term means, what they can do, and why you need a patient advocate in your corner.
What is a patient advocate
A patient advocate is a person who helps guide you, caregivers, and/or your loved ones through any situation regarding your medical health. This can be a family member who understands the healthcare system but typically it is a professional or company. They help you navigate a system that most of us don’t understand fully. Think of a patient advocate as your support system for your health care needs.
What do they do?
There is a laundry list of things that a patient advocate can do for you or your loved one. Here is a list of some of what they do…
- make appointments for you with the right medical professionals
- explain medical bills to the patient or family
- find you support groups as a caregiver or family member
- help you understand patient rights
- can offer legal help if they have a specialty in that
- review your medications
- help you set health care goals
- find resources for your care
- asks the right questions to get the best patient care
Why would you need a patient advocate?
For all of the reasons listed above, it is a great idea to hire a patient advocate to be on your side, especially for aging adults. It is hard to navigate this world of healthcare, so why not have a specialist on your side that can advocate on your behalf to ensure you are getting the best care possible. They can help you get more information out of your doctor and do research into medical conditions and treatments so you understand the information your doctors provide.
If you knew that your health was someone’s number one priority, it would reduce your stress, right? There are so many great resources out there. But, if you don’t know the system in and out it is hard to navigate it on your own. That is why it is best to hire a patient advocate. One of the companies we often refer to is Independent RN Patient Advocates. The president and CEO, Rosie, is a registered nurse and a medical-legal consultant. She is a great resource for our clients at Home With Help®.