Your health is not always your decision. How you handle it is.
By Brian Dooreck, MD, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Executive Health Navigation
In today’s world if you do not know how to “navigate” the healthcare system and get to the best doctors for your problem “quicker, faster, better, and easier”, then you are wasting time and resources that you may not have.
When there are “real” problems, whether it be acute or chronic – and you want things to move smoother, easier, better, and more effectively…then you need guidance from someone with experience and leverage.
I have seen it thousands of times before. I see it every day. Patients, people just like you, are struggling to move through a very complex healthcare system. Especially in the United States; even being one of the leading healthcare systems in the world. The top doctors. The top institutions. The place almost everyone looks to as the “gold standard” of healthcare. The degree of scale and options add to that challenge. Guidance, reassurance, planning, and direction are needed when nothing matters more. When your health is the conversation.
Patients are often frustrated. Lost and confused in the maze of poor doctor-patient communication, trying to navigate it alone on how to get information about their own health, not to mention understand it.
The way we see it. “Your health is not always your decision. How you handle it is.”
Imagine having someone help you navigate the healthcare system?
Imagine if you could get access to the best doctors, quicker, faster, better, and easier?
Does that sound like a fantasy? Well, it’s not.
In our world. From what we do. From what we see. We know how to do this. We have solved this problem 1000s of times for others. Let me tell you how you can too. If and when needed. When you least expect it. When you need it most. As a physician for over 15+ years in clinical practice, I have also learned the value of patient advocacy. For my friends. For my family. That led to the expansion of my active clinical practice into another world. Another professional space in medicine. One that is based on the highest-level outcomes and results with the expected discretion and privacy.
If you are asking “What is a Patient Advocate?” Let’s start by defining what patient advocacy actually is.
What is a Patient Advocate?
A guide. A navigator. Essentially a medical “Sherpa” to guide you through a very broken and complex healthcare system.
What is a Patient or Health Navigator?
A patient navigator helps patients communicate with their healthcare providers so they get the information they need to make decisions about their healthcare. Patient navigators may also help patients set up appointments for doctor visits and medical tests and get financial, legal, and social support.
Who can be a patient advocate?
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement defines a patient advocate as a “supporter, believer, sponsor, promoter, campaigner, backer, or spokesperson.”
In reality, this can be a family member or even a friend. However, there are now independent professionals who specialize in the field of patient advocacy, helping patients and families make sense of the options in the labyrinth of healthcare options, barriers to access and delays in care.
The Patient Advocate Certification Board developed a board certification and in March 2018 held its first test, certifying approximately 150 patient advocates.
Where can I find a patient advocate?
There are many patient advocacy options available to you. There are many professional associations and groups that support patient advocacy. You now have choices.
When the “stakes are high” you need results. You need experience. That is why if it was me, I would choose a specialist. Someone with credentials and experience to provide you with a level of service that is unmatched. Someone that has a proven record. Someone who has done this a thousand times with confidential discretion and respect to your privacy, with the sensitivity of a physician that actually cares for you. That is what we do.
These are some of the many leading institutions we work with and have access to. For you.
What we do in this space. The level we do it. It’s not something we share with everyone. Nor is it something we can offer to everyone. But if we can help guide you, provide you some direction, and even connect you with another patient advocate, just ask.