The Patient Advocate is one type of resource provided by the hospital institutions. The Patient Advocate provides service to the patients, families of patients and other relevant appropriate of other persons. The Patient Advocate acts as liaison between hospital staff/systems and patient/or related persons of patients. More or less, the Patient Advocate helps the patient in improving communication, accessing the information, address the problem and resolving the difficulties.
Hence the patients can be assisted by the Patient Advocates when they are experiencing any difficulties. Advocate means any person may be member of family or any other inclusive friend who will counsel the person. Such advocates may not have professional qualifications like medical knowledge, hospital principles, insurance schemes in medical line etc. Hence the hospitals usually appoint professional advocates i. e. Patient Representatives or Patient Advocates. Sometimes social workers, nurses and chaplains may also be appointed to act as Patient Advocate.
ROLE OF PATIENT ADVOCATE The Patient Advocate helps to patients and normally the patients are controlled by doctors, insurance companies, employers, case manager and lawyers. So on behalf of Patient, the Patient Advocate contact with all such specified persons. The job of patient advocate is not limited to only health issues but extended to health care, medical bills, job discrimination by employer etc. Nowadays many hospitals and institutions encouraging to appoint Patient Advocates so that the patients and other related members take advantage to take assistance.
NEED OF PATIENT ADVOCATE Every patient and family members feel tension when a situation i. e. hospitalization, illness etc. Many doubts will be in their mind for which the hospital staff may not clarify as they are not meant for such duties. Hence the patients need to talk with some one other than hospital staff in order to clear doubts and to have more knowledge about period of illness, insurance schemes etc. The need of Patient Advocate arisen and the Patient Advocate is not complaining authority or resolving authority.
But will assist the Patient and other family member for better addressing the problem solution. The patients and members of family can receive information of hospital policies and procedures, patient’s rights and responsibilities. The Patient Advocate act on behalf of patient and review complaints etc. In case of need the Patient Advocate can also arrange meeting. The Patient Advocates provides assistance through telephone, letter/email, in person at patient’s bed, Patient Advocate office or any other private room preferred by patient.