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EVERYBODY NEEDS A PATIENT ADVOCATE!. Purpose: To explore how becoming smart patients ourselves and learning effective ways to communicate with doctors help us assist patients in achieving better health care. PRESENTERS. Donna Ambrogi, JD Public interest attorney & instructor in elder law

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everybody needs a patient advocate

EVERYBODY NEEDS A PATIENT ADVOCATE!

Purpose:

To explore how becoming smart patients ourselves and learning effective ways to communicate with doctors help us assist patients in achieving better health care.

slide2

PRESENTERS

  • Donna Ambrogi, JD

Public interest attorney & instructor in elder law

Resident representative on Board of Directors

of Aging Services of California

  • Linda Vogel, Ph.D.

Graduate Specialization in Gerontology

Professor Emerita & Senior Scholar at

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

PILGRIM PLACE RESOURCES Claremont, CA 91711

Linda.Vogel@garrett.edudlambrogi@verizon.net

slide3

SMART PATIENTS

  • Prepare a list of concerns & questions.
  • Have lab test results, list of medications & medical history to give to the doctor.
  • Listen carefully, take notes, ask questions.
  • Debrief with someone after the visit.
  • Seek second opinions when needed.
  • Learn to navigate the health care system
  • Do research (WEB, library, etc.).
slide4

Doing WEB Research

  • Who runs the site?
  • Who pays for the site?
  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • What is the source of the information?
  • How current is the information?
  • What links are included?
  • How is the site managed?
  • Generally reliable sites: .edu & .gov.
slide5

ROLE OF PATIENT ADVOCATES

Listen to patient to learn their

  • Medical history
  • Current issues and priorities

Together, prepare a list of

  • Medical concerns
  • Questions to ask doctor

Listen

PREPARE

slide6

At the Doctor’s Appointment:

  • Listen carefully.
  • Encourage the patient to speak up.
  • Take notes.
  • Ask questions if necessary.
  • Be assertive so that all the patient’s concerns are addressed.
slide7

DEBRIEF

  • Go over what the doctor said.
  • Draw together medical records, all

medications being taken, new

prescriptions, etc.

  • Decide together who will communicate

with family, when appropriate.

  • Decide on next steps.
  • Make follow-up appointments.
when necessary
WHEN NECESSARY
  • Make medical appointments.
  • Assist with research (WEB, etc.).
  • Ask questions and explain options.
  • Coordinate care among health

providers.

  • Interact with HMO, insurers, etc.
  • Coordinate volunteers to help monitor

care in hospital.

advance health care directives
Advance Health Care Directives
  • Document combining Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will.
  • Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
slide11

PATIENT ADVOCATES

ARE NOT

  • Hands-on caregivers
  • Required to drive patients to appointments
  • Health Care Agents (e.g. Power of Attorney for Health Care)
  • Decision-makers
slide12

Setting up a Patient Advocate Program

  • Recruit coordinator and trainers.
  • Design a training program.
  • Recruit possible advocates for training

(no up-front commitment).

  • Hold training sessions

(we had 6 two-hour sessions).

  • Sign up advocates.
  • Publicize and educate about roles advocates can play.
  • Coordinator receives requests from residents &/or

referrals from clinic nurses & assigns advocates.

books for patient advocates
Books for Patient Advocates
  • You, The Smart Patient: An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz (2006).
  • Share The Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill, by CappyCapossela & Sheila Warnock (2004).
  • How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman (2008).
  • How to Save Your Own Life by Marie Savard, Warner Books, 2000.
  • How to Survive Your Hospital Stay by Kanegan & Boyette,

Simon & Schuster, 2003.

slide14

Other Publications

  • Talking with Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People. Free from National Institute on Aging. NIH Pub. No. 05-3452. ( www.nia.nih.gov/ )
  • End of Life:  Helping with Comfort and Care, NIH Publication No. 08-6036, 2008.  Free from National Institute on Aging, NIH.
  • CONSUMER REPORTS ON HEALTH, monthly
  • UC BERKELEY WELLNESS LETTER, monthly
  • MAYO CLINIC HEALTH LETTER, monthly
slide15

WEB Sites

  • www.mayoclinic.com/
  • www.harvardwomenshealthwatch.org/
  • www.mgh.harvard.edu/news/publications.aspx
  • www.JohnsHopkinsHealthAlerts.com 
  • www.nih.gov
  • www.healthfinder.gov