Benefits of Patient Advocates
The last ten years have seen the rise of patient advocacy as a significant component of the healthcare system. Healthcare professionals, social service, and occasionally legal experts who work with patients to help them negotiate the complicated healthcare, employment, and insurance systems are professional patient advocates. Normally, patients tend to be quite nervous and anxious due to lack of enough knowledge concerning the working of a healthcare setting. They end up becoming overwhelmed in a medical environment to a point they cannot clearly advocate for or articulate for what they need. These are some of the factors that professional advocates seek to address.
Despite the efforts of doctors and other healthcare experts, it can be quite challenging patients to comprehend and absorb everything that doctors are trying to convey or urge them to do especially after they have been diagnosed with cancer. In this case, it is important to have an advocate in the room. This is because the professionals act as eyes and ears, and their main duty is to assist in translating queries from the clinical officer to the patient and offer responses on behalf of the patient. They also explain testing, treatment, as well as self-care practices to patients in a kind and non-threatening way.
For most patients, the practical logistical advantages of patient advocacy are a necessary service particularly when it comes to treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses that necessitate numerous tests and treatment protocols. The duty of a patient advocate is to assist the patient and their family by organizing transportation, maintaining a calendar for the patient, scheduling an appointment on the patient’s behalf, and ensuring that the patient goes for care and testing. Patient advocates are also available to offer essential support when complicated documentation must be presented for insurance company or make a payment.
Patient advocates also assist the patients in navigating the challenges that often result from receiving a serious medical diagnosis that may prohibit them from going back to work. HR departments might occasionally be overworked, or you might also be working in a small company that lacks this department. If you can only do your work part-time, having a patient advocate is important as they can communicate with your boss on your behalf. They will discuss your health status without necessarily being there. Having a patient advocate is important as they can help if your employment situation has an impact on your insurance.
It is also quite simple for patients to forget to take several pills they need to take each day, or drugs they are supposed to take at specified time. This is because most of them tend to be stressed especially after being diagnosed with a serious illness. As a patient, you will definitely need assistance from someone who will ensure that you do not miss any prescribed medication especially if the disease has also limited your ability to perform activities of your daily life. Advocates for patients assist with planning and facilitating difficult treatment and therapy schedules.