How can an advocate help you coordinate care?
Coordinating care for yourself or a loved one, especially during times of crisis, can be overwhelming and complex. A patient advocate can help you navigate this process, making it less daunting and more efficient.
One of the main roles of an advocate in care coordination is acting as a central communication hub. They ensure that all healthcare providers involved in the care process, from primary care doctors and specialists to nurses and home health aides, are communicating and have the most up-to-date information about the patient's health status and treatment plan.
In situations where multiple specialists are involved – such as managing chronic illnesses or recovering from major surgeries – a patient advocate helps schedule appointments, arrange transportation, manage medication lists, and ensure medical records are shared appropriately among providers. This prevents gaps or overlap in treatment and ensures a smooth continuity of care.
Patient advocates also play an essential role in ensuring that medical instructions are understood and followed correctly. They can accompany patients to their appointments, take notes, ask clarifying questions, and later explain the information using layman's terms. This helps you and your family members make the best decisions for your personal situations.
In addition to medical coordination, your advocates can also help organize any necessary additional support services such as physical therapy, counseling services or home health care. They’ll make sure these services are integrated seamlessly into the overall care plan.
Patient advocates also provide critical emotional support throughout this process. Managing healthcare can be emotionally taxing for patients and their families. Advocates offer a listening ear, providing comfort and reassurance during these challenging times.
Above all, your advocate will ensure that your rights are upheld throughout your entire healthcare journey, so that your choices and decisions about your care are respected and that all treatment provided meets or exceeds the standard of care.