Why Do You Need A Patient Advocate?

As mentioned in our last blog, a patient advocate is best described as simply someone who assists another person in need of healthcare assistance.  So you might be saying why in the world would I or my loved one ever need someone to help me with my healthcare needs?  Well, there are multiple reasons that you might need a patient advocate, but this week we will focus on only one – You or your loved one may not have crucial answers in a medical crisis.

When you or a loved one is sick, hospitalized, in pain, or otherwise not your normal everyday self, it’s very difficult to absorb information given to you by medical personnel.  All that medical jargon is given very quickly these days because the doctor or nurse is always in a hurry.  And because most times the patient is not a medical expert and does not work in the medical environment, he or she is not familiar with the medical mumbo jumbo and does not know the right questions to ask for clarification.  Often overlooking some of the smallest details can have a dramatically different outcome in the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

If you do not have a family member or a good friend in your corner who can advocate for you then perhaps you need the services of a professional patient advocate.  A patient advocate is trained to serve as a second set of eyes and ears to listen as the doctor or nurse spews out everything in a matter of minutes, to know the correct set of questions to ask and what things to look for as this is what they do on a daily basis.  The patient advocate is there to represent the patient and the patient only, not the hospital, the doctors or the nurses.

Everyone receiving medical care today whether in a hospital, assisted living or a nursing home setting needs a knowledgeable advocate checking on them regularly to make sure that they are being cared for properly.  Patients that are being monitored on a regular basis tend to be the ones that receive the best care.  Many hospitals and other institutions today employ their own patient advocates whom represent the facility’s best interest.  Shouldn’t you be represented as well?