What is a patient advocate? Our blog reveals everything you need to know about the roles and duties of patient advocacy.
Are you wondering what is a patient advocate or what patient advocacy entails? We have the answers for you.
When illness strikes, it’s often a stressing time for the patient and their families. The chances are high that wrong judgment and medical decisions will be made in these scenarios. That’s why it’s necessary to have someone else in a better state of mind looking out for a patient’s best interests.
Here is all you need to know about a patient care advocate:
What Is a Patient Advocate?
An advocate is someone who acts as the spokesperson or representative of another and helps champion their rights. Advocating for patients involves representing patients and helping them navigate sometimes-confusing healthcare systems.
A patient advocate can do a lot of things revolving around educating, promoting, and protecting the rights, health, and safety of a patient. They can be anyone in your family, a close friend, or you can even consider nursing advocacy.
A good advocate is someone you know well and trust. They should understand your health status, know something about health care matters, and be willing to act in your best interest. It should also be a person that can work well as the link between your family and medical professionals.
What Does an Advocate Do?
A patient advocate can do a lot of things. But their typical duties include:
· Educating Patients About Their Rights
One key role of a patient advocate is to keep their client informed about their rights. They educate patients about their human, civil, and constitutional rights. They show them how they can know if those rights are being infringed upon, and what action to take if that happens.
· Handling Patient Complaints
When you’re sick, it’s challenging to take action when you have a complaint. Patient advocates are responsible for this role.
For example, if you would like to report a medical practitioner who isn’t acting professionally during a test or surgery, your patient advocate will step in to represent you. See more on adult echocardiography.
· Handling Bills and Insurance Issues
A patient advocate will deal with all the hassle of sorting out your insurance issues if you fall sick. They may also help you search for the best insurance covers and help you understand your coverage.
If you don’t have insurance, the advocate can also work out a practical payment plan with your hospital. They can negotiate lower costs for your medical bills.
· Keeping Your Family Informed
It’s essential to keep your family in the loop when undergoing any medical procedures. A nursing advocate will explain to your family about your condition, test results, and treatment options available. A doctor can do this, but in most cases, they’re busy and may not explain everything in full.
Your advocate will also help your family arrange for payments, medications, and necessary adjustments to accommodate your illness.
Patient Advocates Are a Necessity!
If you wanted to know what is a patient advocate, now you have the answer! It’s crucial to have someone else putting your health care interests first when you’re ill.
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