Some families are turning to patient advocates to work in conjunction with doctors, nurses and hospitals to ensure that a patient’s medical needs are met. These advocates ensure that medical professionals respect a patient’s rights to receive timely and competent treatment. People turn to patient advocates when they become overwhelmed with dealing with the multitude of MDs, RNs, specialists and health care facilities that has come to characterize health care in this country.
1.Ask your doctor if he can recommend a patient advocate. Expect that most patient advocates recommended by a doctor will be registered nurses who have put in years and sometimes decades of clinical nursing or home-based health care service.
2.Call a nearby hospital and ask if they have a patient advocate on staff. Many hospitals and clinics today maintain a staff of patient advocates who work day and night shifts to ensure that patients at their facilities are receiving proper treatment. Contact one of these advocates and ask if he or she will represent you on a matter that doesn’t involve their employer.
Visit Advo Connection online at http://www.advoconnection.com/findanadvocate.htm. They will help you locate a patient advocate in your area for free; simply plug in your zip code or the specialty for which you need a patient advocate.
3.Find a patient advocate for home senior care services. Call a local nursing home, assisted living home or hospice and ask them to recommend someone.
4.Find a patient advocate for pregnancy or pediatric care. Call a local midwife organization, birth coach or Lamaze training center for recommendations.
5.Find a patient advocate for substance control care. Call drug rehabilitation centers, the local health department or a local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. All three may be able to help you locate a patient advocate.
6.Find a patient advocate who can represent your interests in dealing with insurance companies or government-provided health care. Contact the department of health or the department of insurance in your state. You should also contact your state’s department of labor and workforce development which can recommend patient advocates for workers’ compensation matters.
7.Find a patient advocate by calling the bar association in your state. This organization can help you find an advocate who understands malpractice law in your state or who has experience in dealing with the state’s social security office if disability filings are an issue.