“In the best of times (and these are certainly not), all patients need advocates all the time; now more than ever, vulnerable patients need them more but don’t have access to them. Vulnerable populations have more at stake when visitors are limited or prohibited. What’s more, vulnerability may be exacerbated due to youth, advanced age, disability, cognitive impairment, illness acuity, language – or, as we have come to realize of late – implicit bias.
Advocacy can take many forms. For the patient who cannot report accurately on their medical history and symptoms, the furnishing of information to health care professionals can speed accurate diagnosis and minimize test and imaging fishing expeditions. Personal advocates, when present, may provide comfort and be a conduit to nursing staff when pain is present, and other physical needs are unmet.
Equally important, vigilant personal advocates can be instrumental in offsetting nursing responsibilities by feeding and mobilizing patients, preventing falls, and even initiating rapid response codes. Finally, for patients limited by expressive disorders or constraints, the personal advocate can inform staff about individual preferences, priorities, and values, so that goals of care are aligned with patient wishes.”
Bonnie Friedman is the author of Hospital Warrior: How to Get the Best Care for Your Loved One.
She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article that she co-wrote, “Making time for patient advocacy is more important now than ever.”
This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided.
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Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.