The “face” of medicine is in the midst of dramatic change, regardless of the “lens” through which you view healthcare. Patient expectations, enhanced technology, patient-centered medicine, legislation and experience all suggest the need for partnerships inpatient care.
While most hospitals employ “patient advocates,” these individuals are “hospital advocates”, usually reporting to Risk Management. Concerned consumers seeking a dedicated partner are turning frequently to “patient advocates” employed to act solely on behalf of the patient and in concert with the family.
I am a Patient Advocate, learning at the bedside of my husband who was hospitalized for 7+ months in four different facilities, 6+ months of which were on full life support. I learned how to do this in a situation I would not wish on my worst enemy under unimaginable stress and fear. While my husband’s body survived, I lost his “mind” to a stroke caused by a hospital-acquired infection, a condition that affects one in seven patients (according to the World Health Organization - https://www.who.int/gpsc/country_work/gpsc_ccisc_fact_sheet_en.pdf). Temporary harm also occurs in another one in seven patients whose care-related problems were detected in time and corrected. Additionally, hospital care-related problems contribute to the deaths of about 15,000 Medicare patients each month, according to a new federal government study.
If you and your family want to reduce the likelihood of becoming one of these statistics, I can help. As your partner, I can:
Assist you in securing needed information to make an informed decision;
Ask questions on your behalf;
Stand at your side during doctor consults;
Participate with providers in many venues;
Expect great service from all involved and communicate such expectations; and
Encourage and support you in your quest for health.
While I dearly wish I had not learned “the hard way,” allow me the privilege of sparing you this experience and providing direct patient advocacy on your behalf.
For a full explanation of my journey in healthcare, read Hospital Stay Handbook: A Guide to Becoming a Patient Advocate for Your Loved Ones. Additionally, I speak on the subject of patient advocacy and invite you to visit the SPEAKER section of this web site for more information.