Patient Advocacy in Charlotte
Connecting threads of care
The healthcare system can be complex. If you need multiple services after a major illness or accident, navigating it can be extremely challenging. Instead of focusing solely on your recovery or management of your condition, you have to organize appointments, check your insurance coverage, and communicate with different providers. This is where patient advocacy comes into the picture.
A patient advocate is well acquainted with the healthcare industry and can help you navigate the system efficiently. They can also personalize your experience by acting as a compassionate intermediary who can translate the diagnosis and treatment options of busy physicians into understandable insights and actionable plans.
In addition to serving as a liaison for patients, advocates, who typically have a nursing background, can work with family members and other caregivers to ensure proper support at home.
Patient Advocacy With Care Weavers
What qualities should you expect from your patient advocate? They should be:
- A good communicator,
- A skilled problem solver.
Care Weavers in Charlotte has patient advocate nurses who possess all six traits. Our compassionate professionals provide care coordination services to help you smoothly navigate the healthcare system and avoid the stress and confusion that many patients have come to associate with medical care.
Care Weavers will also help you get out-of-hospital care for those with disabilities or patients in need of assisted living or home healthcare services. Our community care selection services can help ensure your loved one finds the facility that fits their needs and provides you with peace of mind.
Here is a closer look at the reasons to hire a patient advocate.
What Does a Patient Advocate Do?
Here is a look at the different duties of a patient advocate.
- Practical aspects of healthcare. A patient advocate can help with scheduling, arranging appointments, managing prescriptions, and other healthcare management tasks. Depending on your needs, this could involve reminding you of upcoming clinic appointments and medicine refills or facilitating everything for you.
- Access. Patient advocates can help you get safely to healthcare appointments by arranging transport or communicating with family members to ensure someone is available to accompany you.
- Address concerns. Advocates serve as your main point of contact for all your healthcare needs. If you have concerns or questions, you can reach out to the advocate instead of trying to contact busy physicians or nurses.
- Healthcare education and insights. An advocate can offer insight into the management of specific diseases, including proper nutrition, medication management, lifestyle changes, and other practices that can help achieve positive healthcare outcomes.
- Ensure rights. An advocate can serve as the patient’s representative if they feel they were treated unfairly or a provider did not respect their decisions.
- Community connections. Advocates may help patients connect with services outside of a clinical setting. This may include helping patients find community-based support groups, choosing services for assisted living or adult day care, or arranging transportation options.
- Healthcare liaison. An advocate can centralize all your healthcare information into one place, ensuring you will always have access to necessary data. Also, the advocate can provide information to various providers working with you to keep them all on the same page and working toward the same goals.
- Financial assistance. Advocates help patients deal with the complex world of medical billing and insurance. They can also help you select providers based on their insurance network or coverage.
- Family liaison. Family members can contact the advocate to get clear and accurate updates on their loved one’s condition instead of having to ask the patient directly.
Patient advocates can perform other health management-related duties for patients, depending on their needs.
What Is Patient Advocacy?
Advocacy is ingrained in the nursing profession. The American Nursing Association believes “advocacy is a pillar of nursing.”
In broad terms, patient advocacy involves ensuring each patient is treated fairly, able to retain their dignity, and protected from undue suffering. A patient advocate pursues these aims, but they take them a step further than most healthcare professionals.
In addition to ensuring basic rights, patient advocacy involves personalizing the healthcare process and pursuing the best possible outcomes. Patient advocacy involves helping those who need assistance navigate the healthcare system.
Specialists like Care Weavers can serve as a liaison for people with complex healthcare needs, and they can also assist with specific aspects of the process that a patient finds challenging, such as community care selection or insurance coverage and billing.
While advocacy can aid patients with any phase of their medical care, many of the people who can benefit from the service have complex needs. Older adults with changing medical needs can find support and guidance from a patient advocate. This type of care can be especially important if the patient’s family does not live nearby.
People in the LGBTQ+ community undergoing life changes, adults currently or recently hospitalized, those with life-changing health conditions, and people dealing with a disability can also find support from a patient advocate.
Finally, patient advocate services can also involve family members and other loved ones, who can communicate concerns and get care-related guidance from a patient advocate.
Benefits of Having a Patient Advocate
An advocate provides advantages that a patient would not get if they tried to organize their healthcare on their own.
- The patient advocate helps you understand a doctor’s complex diagnosis or treatment plan. In addition to understanding the terminology, treatment options, and outlook, you can access information at any time via your patient advocate.
- Advocates can communicate with your human resources department to explain your situation and provide medical reasons for an absence or inability to work. They can also work with insurance companies to explain the need for a certain type of coverage.
- Patient advocates communicate with doctors, so you do not have to be responsible for assuring different providers are on the same page. They can also maintain data and records in a central place so that providers can track progress.
- They monitor at-home treatments and ensure you are taking your medication as the doctor requires. This type of support can also help family members keep up with your care and provide peace of mind that someone is managing medical needs.
- Patient advocacy services can also include arranging medical power of attorney or living wills. These allow you or your loved one to outline their wishes for medical care if they become incapacitated.
You should always seek a patient advocate who can provide these benefits.
Protect your rights
Most of us believe that we can advocate on our own behalf. However even those who are experienced in the healthcare industry including physicians will tell you that navigating a diagnosis alone is a risk. Managing healthcare is often complex requiring teams of specialized providers working in collaboration to create a plan of action. As healthcare advocates we work with you and your loved ones to understand what is important to you and assist you in making sure your goals and priorities are reflected in your plan of care.
Collaborate with your health care team
Leaving no stone unturned, we communicate directly with the healthcare team, get the answers you need, and escalate concerns when necessary. Health care providers understand that by working with an advocate, communication and decision making can be expedited making care delivery more efficient and effective. This results in getting you or your loved one the much needed care and attention you deserve and avoid unnecessary days in the hospital.
Navigating medical care
As nurses experienced in the healthcare industry we know how to breakdown the silos that exist in our care systems, navigate the care options that are available, and effectively communicate with the healthcare providers. We also know how to avoid mistakes, anticipate gaps in care and help to expedite your care and shorten your stay in the hospital. We can help get to the right physician faster in order to understand your options with complex medical diagnosis, saving you time, money and stress.
If you live away we can serve as the eyes and ears for your loved ones. We do this by conducting routine assessments and evaluations while making recommendations for assistive changes or additional resources that can help maintain safety and prevent injury.
As an only child, making decisions for loved ones can be overwhelming. We can act as surrogates to provide you with the information, recommendations and assurance needed to provide peace of mind throughout the decision making process.
If you need a compassionate and capable patient advocate in the Charlotte area, contact us today.