Choosing A Patient Advocate in a Health Crisis

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

We work to put a plan of action in place for patients/families from a preventative standpoint. We know the gaps in Healthcare, and set you up with the tools to cover the gaps. Our plan is always to walk beside you in your health journey as your guide. We can better prepare you with things such as care coordination and financial forecasting for healthcare expenses.
Non-Crisis Situation Example
Your loved one may have multiple illnesses that are slowly becoming worse. Their care becomes complicated and it’s hard for them to keep up with everything. We can work with you to determine a plan to help you age in place successfully. We help with transitions of care and planning for future changes if needed.

Patient Advocates Roles in a Crisis Situation

A plan of action is in place for patients/families as quickly as possible. We advocate for your family, we know the gaps in Healthcare, and start looking for missed opportunities or areas where clarification is needed.  However, our plan is always to walk beside you in your health journey as your guide. Therefore, we will supply you with all of the healthcare information needed to be able to make critical decisions swiftly. We will support care coordination,  financial analysis, or forecasting of healthcare expenses.
Crisis Situation Example
Your mom has been diagnosed with cancer. Your mom and dad are in their 80s, and you and your siblings all live out of state. You need someone to be there with mom and dad in the beginning to understand the proposed plan of care. We support you by going through all of the initial doctor appointments, gathering information, and then conference call with all the family. The family can then put a plan of action in place to stay with mom and dad once chemo and radiation start.

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.