Patient Advocate


Overview:
A patient advocate acts as a liaison between patient and Health Care Provider. The Patient Advocate is a vitat to both patient and physician in the optimal delivery of health care. The Patient Advocate is often present for the health care appointments. They also alert the Health Care Provider to the patient with issues. The key goal of the Patient Advocate is to improve the communication between the patient and the health care provider.
Often, the patient really doesn't understand certain procedures or has questions about the medications, and will need assistance. The Patient Advocate will aide in this communication because the Patient Advocate understands the procedures and will reduce the fear which will increase patient compliance, and result in a higher percentage of a successful treatment.
The Patient Advocate helps with family communication also. Often, a Patient Advocate will refer the patients' family members to a certain doctor, or assists with issues arising from illness and injury. They help the communication, including ongoing communication and coordination with all practitioners according to each practitioner's preferred protocol. The Patient Advocate must be aware of overseeing any potentially conflicting treatment or medications, and discusses it with the Patient and Primary Care Provider. All treatments must be entered into the a health record,
All records should be recorded for every office or doctor visit, which should be provided for the patient on an annual basis or more often if the treatment is more intense. The Patient Advocate must be careful to keep track of all the health records, and keep them up to date, so they can communicate better with the patient and the Health Care Provider. This maintenance of the electronic log is vital to success, and is very useful in case an emergency comes up, or the patient or Health Care Provider needs to see a health record immediately.
The Patient Advocate may provide medical literature research service to the patient, family, health care provider or research personnel as requested. Also, the Patient Advocate may sit on investigative and advisory panels to ensure that ongoing projects and those being considered for funding will directly impact patients' lives, improving delivery of care and support for tertiary care.

Applications
Patients Advocate are used for the communication between patients and the Health Care Provider. This can be applied for a person of any age, any insurance, or for any illness.

Web Resources
Patientadvocate.org
National Patient Advocate


Related Terminology
Patient advocacy- refers to elocution and advocacy at every level for all patients and families; from letter writing to media and government as a concerned citizen or lobbyist, to forum and panel facilitation and support, to assisting patient and family in daily activities and health care procedures, to speaking on a patient's behalf in order to further their treatment progress, or to protect their rights and help them learn how to obtain information and services.
Patient Empowerment- a recent outgrowth of the natural health movement, asserts that to be truly healthy, people must bring about changes in their social situations and in the environment that influences their lives, not only in their personal behavior. One factor of it is that patients cannot be forced to follow a lifestyle dictated by others. Preventative medicine is also a key concept.

Citations/References
Wikipedia.org
http://www.patientadvocate.org/
http://patients.about.com/od/caringforotherpatients/ss/becomeadvocate.htm
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