Patient Advocate
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment
and exercise, not too little, and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”

A New Position in Healthcare: “Patient Advocate”

Due to the changes in Internet Medicine, with the patient acquiring a more central role in healthcare, with increased responsibities to learn of his healthcare situation, we predict that there will be an emergence of new positions in clinics and hosptials to help the patient address the new role. No patient will be simply told, “Go look it up on the internet”.

What is a “Patient Advocate”

The Patient Advocate will be basically, be a healthcare worker who sits down with the patient after a visit to the clinic, or prior to discharge from the hospital, and educate the patient, on what is going on, and “plug'” that patient in, to Internet Medicine. 

They will explain the best websites to visit to learn about what happened with their healthcare, and where to go to learn more, where to be monitored, how to check their records, etc.  Remember now, cell phones now out number the number of toothbrushes in the world, and, if the patient has no access to the internet, there are places one can do so, or a family member, etc

The advocates will be specialists in the internet regarding the internet resources in healthcare field, and how to use them,  to aid the patient.  The doctor MAY know the

landscape of the internet.  The nurse MAY know the net.  But the patient advocates WILL know Internet Medicine, and will tailor internet advice to the patients’ status.

The following video explains the concept of a “Patient Advocate” from a few years back, but this role, we feel, will assume an official postion, with the increasing importance and prominence of the internet as a source of education and monitoring for the patient.

There will a pruning of the administrative aspects of both the office practice and the hospital in Internet Medicine, once the streamlining of the adminstrative aspects of healthcare are developed and implemented.  Therefore, in all likeliehood, many former office aides, or nurse assistants may assume this new position.  The healthcare workforce will be evolving, and postions will be “re-assigned” to staff this new postion of “Patient Advocate”.  There will be a training period determined, and implemented.

There will be a new person in the healthcare field, symbolic of the determination of the healthcare profession to get the best result for the patient, by whatever means.

There are various programs of the Patient Advocate, currently in place, such as one at University of Miami, and others are listed HERE.  As it says on the title page,

“….Patient Advocacy is an emerging and exciting career. Patient advocates (PAs) help patients receive the best healthcare possible by helping patients and their families navigate a healthcare system that is both complex and daunting. . PAs help patients and their families understand diagnoses, prognoses and outcomes, as well as available treatment options. They identify RESOURCES and help patients and their families decode insurance coverage…”

Therefore, the new Patient Advocate will help the patient navigate healthcare system of Internet Medicine, as well as identify for the patient and the familiy RESOURCES available on the net.

Humana Validates Concept of “Patient Advocate”

On September 26th, 2012, Humana announced that they would do their part in educating the patient, with follow-up instructions, and other patient info, prior to discharge from an office or facility.  In an article in EWeek Online Magazine, they stated they would give patients “videos” of follow-up healthcare instructions...

“…The SmartVideo application allows companies to create 50 to 60 types of voice-over changes that support thousands of combinations, Christopher Nicholson, Humana’s service vice president, strategic consultancy, told eWEEK…..Members access the videos through a link emailed to them. They can then watch the video in a Web browser as well as on a smartphone or tablet…”

What Humana is doing, is essentially helping the role of the Patient Advocate to educate the patient on the health problem, and perhaps where on the internet to get advice and support, as well as education.

Patient Enpowerment Forum

-moderated by prominent patient advocate, Trisha Torrey

Alliance of Professional Health Advocates


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