Navigating the healthcare industry can be tricky and if you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with serious or chronic illnesses, it can be even more overwhelming dealing with appointments, new medications, and an array of different healthcare professionals. A healthcare advocate is there to guide you through the complicated labyrinth of healthcare and to act as a source of strength and support. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you may have about healthcare advocates.
What Exactly Is a Healthcare Advocate?
Quite simply, a healthcare advocate is a professional who is trained to work with you to ensure you receive the best quality healthcare possible. The advocate helps their patient in a variety of situations, including working with the insurance companies, the patient's private physician, and specialists, and can help the patient create a living will and instructions for their end-of-life care.
How Can a Healthcare Advocate Help Me?
There are several benefits to working with a healthcare advocate, including:
- Assist you in finding the right doctors and healthcare workers to fit your needs
- Helps the patient understand the doctor's instructions
- Create a medication plan
- Asks medical professionals questions about your healthcare plan
- Helps you schedule appointments
If there are end-of-life care concerns, such as creating a will, designating a power of attorney, or creating a hospice care plan, a healthcare advocate can assist in the trickier aspects of these unique patient issues.
What Type of Training Do Healthcare Advocates Receive?
From nurses and administrators to public health workers and social workers, there are a variety of people who work in the healthcare industry that decide to become healthcare advocates. These professionals receive specialized training to ensure they understand all of their patients' needs.
A patient can find a healthcare advocate in a variety of different ways, as well. For example, some healthcare advocates are employed by hospitals, while others work in a freelance capacity or are hired by nonprofit healthcare organizations.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Advocate?
Finally, there are several questions you should ask a potential advocate to ensure you find the ideal advocate for your unique needs. For example, ask the advocate about their professional history, how many patients they have worked with in the past, and if they have special skills. Some patients find they need more help with insurance matters while others patients may need the assistance of an advocate who specializes in cancer treatments.
A healthcare advocate is a great source of information and the helping hand that many patients need to navigate the sometimes-tricky healthcare industry.
Contact medical services for more info about healthcare advocates.