Adding a patient advocate to your health team
Advances in medical science and technology, together with the evolving culture of consumer responsibility, have resulted in new models of care delivery and contractions in the traditional roles of medical providers. Treatment can involve multiple healthcare disciplines and rapid patient turnover. Patients and their families may ﬁnd themselves having to navigate several different departments or specialties, being treated by multiple doctors within a medical centre and experiencing brief and uncoordinated contact with a number and a range of healthcare professionals.
Fractured care does not lead to quality outcomes.
In addition, health-related information is often difﬁcult to obtain or understand making decisions relating to the patient’s illness and care difﬁcult. Patient stress and poor decisions can result. Patients and their families need someone who can help them to understand their illness and negotiate the healthcare system –
that is, they need a health literate patient advocate.
How does a patient advocate work?
WE SUPPORT & ADVOCATE FOR YOU ACROSS ALL AREAS OF HEALTH CARE:
-acute, chronic and critical health problems
-advanced case management rehabilitation,
-disability care and services
-monitoring of hospital and medical care
-supervision of hospital to home or nursing home/ residential care transition
-individualised Alzheimer's pathways planning and monitoring
-support for the clients with age related health and activities of daily living problems
-issues problems confronting people with genetic disorders.
-Formulation & collation of the documentation essential for health & care
We support the rights and healthcare needs of the LGBTIA community
Problems with standards and access
When the care standards of a provider or institution is causing concern or access to care is being denied, we can help. Through advocacy, collaboration, negotiation or intervention, we can ensure that patients receive good health care.
Informed consent & health literacy
A Patient Advocate will assist you to be informed and confident about the decisions you need to make and will assist you to achieve the best possible health outcomes. This involves helping a patient understand a diagnosis and the treatment and options. Where you would like reassurance about a diagnosis, we source and arrange a second opinion.
Knowing where and who to go to in the health system and understanding the language and culture is known as health literacy. In Australia, more than 60% of patients lack the level of health literacy necessary to get the best outcomes from their health management. This results in stress, wasted money, delayed and poor treatment options and early admission to nursing care homes.
We collate and co-ordinate your health management & records.
For the average patient, the logistics of managing their various doctors and providers is overwhelming. The new reality is that health management has become "siloed": providers no longer share your health history & results. GPs have long since ceased to case manage the patient. What Dr A knows is not passed on to Dr B or hospital C. The result is missed information, over testing, over & under treating, stress and added expense. Even within a hospital it is common to find that treating specialists are not aware of each others' diagnoses and treatment regimes.
The RACGP cites three cornerstones of continuity of care leading to good medical management:
Relational continuity (my patient, my doctor).
However the business model of many practices is at odds with continuity of care. Increasingly, "first available doctor" and "walk in" medical centres are the norm meaning that even within a practice, constancy is unlikely. The older a patient, the more vital continuity of care becomes but the more doctors they will see. Home visits are usually outsourced by medical practices to an agency.
-Your advocate will attend medical appointments and complex medical tests with you and navigate/translate what you are being told.
-In an emergency your advocate will attend a hospital or A&E department to assist you and your family through an acute event and help you to make informed decisions about treatment choices. We understand the language and culture of hospitals and can ensure that your treatment is timely and appropriate.
-A health trained patient advocate asks the important questions you may not know to ask. We collaborate with your providers so they are all in the loop regarding your condition, your treatments and your wishes.
-We provide you with written reports of all meetings we attend and (with your permission) circulate these to all your providers. This advocacy means everyone is on the same page.
-A patient advocate will help you to get the appropriate documentation in place that guides medical care in an emergency or at the end of your life.
We are both healthcare professionals with years of experience in the aged and healthcare systems in NSW. We are qualified patient advocates and use our experience, communication skills, networks and commitment to get results for our clients.
* This website is the marketing platform for two Sydney based patient advocates who work as sole traders in separate businesses with individual ABNs*. Each is a qualified health professional, has completed Patient Advocate training and has individual Professional Indemnity Insurance.