As the American healthcare system has become increasingly difficult to navigate, and as patients’ fears and frustrations have continued to grow, we’ve begun to see the rise of a new form of healthcare provider – private, independent, professional patient advocates.
Various names for these providers are used: health advocates, patient advocates, patient navigators, case managers and others.
When Trisha first began writing and speaking to patients in 2005, she was often confronted by the frustration of patients who understood her patient empowerment principles, but knew they were too sick, or otherwise incapable, of seeing those principles through themselves. They asked Trisha if she knew of professionals who could help them.
At the same time, she would find herself in conversations with nurses who were looking for a different, more patient-friendly, way to practice; or medical billing and coding specialists who wanted to work directly for patients instead of for providers or payers; or caregivers who had shepherded a loved one through cancer or another terminal disease; or chronic disease patients who had developed expertise in their condition – in short, people who wanted to put the skills they had developed to use directly for patients – and not for the “system.”
And so – today Trisha puts them together. She has developed a number of tools to help patients get the support they need, and to help advocates and those who hope to become advocates develop the additional skills they need to do so.
Find a master list of tools for patient and health advocates and navigators at: www.HealthAdvocateResources.com.