Most times you can be your best advocate, BUT, what happens if you can’t?
Complicated healthcare is the new normal. Some would say we have a totally broken Healthcare system. We are in a healthcare crisis. As a result, a crisis or complicated situation can happen fast. Who will be your advocate? Are you prepared?
Who Calls a Patient Advocate?
When we start a free 20-minute consultation we know that someone will need us in one of 2 situations. One, we could begin our services with them to support them in preventing chaos in a health crisis. Secondly, we are needed in a health crisis. These Patients/families need help immediately to navigate through the crisis.
What is a Health Crisis?
Basically, we define a health crisis as when a patient/family is having a stressful health event that results in a loss of control. Their ability to make decisions could be affected. Their independence may be threatened or lost. They may feel a loss of freedom, and impaired ability to determine their purpose in life. Simply put, their life has totally been turned upside down, and is unsure of what the next steps should be or how to figure it out.
A new Medical diagnosis or exacerbation of a current medical problem, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection, infertility, myocardial infarction, falls or injury resulting in a disability, and cancer can trigger a health crisis.
For example, COVID-19 diagnosis in an elderly individual has had long-term effects, and the road to recovery is questionable or very long. This person may be going from living independently at home to now needing a Skilled Nursing Placement. No plans were in place for options of placement or financial planning.
This situation can be very overwhelming for patients and families. Then on top of that, they have to deal with the hospitals wanting to get them discharged as soon as possible.
Patient Advocate’s Role in a Pre-Crisis Situation
Patient Advocates Roles in a Crisis Situation
As professional medical professionals, we can be the point of contact between you and your healthcare team, and we can be your “quarterback”. We can diffuse a very stressful situation quickly, resulting in decreased confusion, decrease frustration, and eliminating undue pain and suffering.