Chenfang Li, Nan Zhou, and Yin Lin
Florida International University
A patient advocate may be present for healthcare appointments and alert the healthcare provider about patient compliance issues. He or she may separately assist the healthcare provider and support staff with potential issues and communication challenges. The patient advocate is also responsible for maintaining communication with the patient and healthcare provider to ensure that patients understand the procedures. By reducing fear and increasing patient compliance, this can result in higher successful treatments. Generally, a patient advocacy contract that includes a release of medical information must be placed with each healthcare facility (Ad Hoc Committee on Advocacy, 1969). Some institutions may require a power of attorney for healthcare for a patient advocate to exchange confidential information. The patient advocate may provide medical literature and research services to the patient, family, or healthcare provider. The patient advocate may also assist with family communication on issues arising from illnesses and injuries . This may include further referral for care and support for both patients and families. The patient advocate has a responsibility for awareness of compliance, appropriateness, and coordination of care for the patient, such as oversight for potentially conflicting treatment modalities and medications. The patient advocate can ensure that questions about the appropriateness of treatment are promptly discussed with the patient's care provider, and that all treatments and concerns are promptly entered into the patient's healthcare record. The patient advocate is also responsible for reviewing the patient's healthcare record for correctness and for explaining it to the patient. Another responsibility of the patient advocate is to create and maintain an electronic log for the patient that is available on disk to healthcare providers i This log may be of great benefit in subsequent urgent situations. The patient advocate can also assist in resolving disputes between patients and their healthcare provider, as well as engaging in communications on behalf of the patient in case of employment issues by approaching the employer to achieve a mutually beneficial solution for the employer and the individual employee. Where applicable compliance standards are not met, the patient advocate may conduct liaison with corporate oversight, government agencies, or legal professionals to further negotiate such issues on behalf of the patient and family. It is the duty of a patient advocate to maintain patient privacy according to local and national laws, treating all patient and family information as privileged and protected. This includes ensuring that healthcare providers’ communications are treated as highly confidential and privileged, whether or not those communications are specific to the patient, and that permissions to disclose information are negotiated carefully. It is also the duty of the patient advocate to follow any referrals for medical, financial, legal, administrative or other personnel to assure that the patient is always kept safe and well informed, never abandoned or misled during the process (Carlton, 1984) SWOT Analysis
When developing a SWOT analysis for the Patient Advocate Organization, three primary purposes emerged: 1. Inspire continued trust and confidence in the nursing profession among patients, their families, and the American people; 2. Leverage nurses, the single largest health care workforce, together with patients, partners in their care, in accelerating performance improvement; and 3. Stimulate reform through shared perspectives, knowledge, and values among nurses and patients, their families, and consumer stakeholders. A SWOT analysis focuses on internal strengths...