10 Things to Know About Patient Advocacy

 

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A patient advocate can be a family member, trusted friend or professional advocate who will support the patient and family during a hospitalization or when navigating the health care system in general.

What does an advocate do?

  • Advocates for the Patients’ Rights.
  • Helps to improve the patient and family healthcare experience.
  • Preferably has some knowledge of hospital function and procedures.
  • Act as a liaison and collaborate between the patient, family, health care team and hospital.
  • Can remain neutral and objective as possible when resolving problems for the patient.
  • Promotes patient satisfaction.
  • Serves as a support for ethical issues, including end-of-life treatment decisions.
  • Writes down information that you receive from your caregivers, as well as any questions that you may have.
  • Assures that your wishes are carried out when you may not be able to do it by yourself.

After you choose an advocate:

  • Let your doctors and caregivers know that you have an advocate and would like for them to be involved in your care.
  • Arrange for your advocate to be the designated spokesperson for your family and make sure your other family members are aware of this. This will allow for consistent communication with your caregivers and can help to minimize confusion and misunderstandings within your family.

Another post about patient advocacy:
You Need an Advocate

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