DUBAI 20 February 2021: 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.
They 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 I 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.
The answer is patient advocacy.
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 health care. 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 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.
Note: The author offers Concierge-Level Patient Advocacy in the USA, Dubai, and the GCC.