Why Should You Use a Health Advocate?
“Research shows that quality healthcare means taking an active role in decisions about your care. If you’re facing a difficult medical decision, it’s a good idea to bring someone with you who can help you take an active role in your care when you’re not fully up to it.
As a doctor and a patient, I’ve seen how valuable it is to have ‘another set of ears and eyes’ in the exam room. Having an advocate at medical appointments or during a hospital stay can ensure that you get the information you need to manage your health.
Who makes a good health advocate? Someone who is calm, pays attention to details, and can ask questions and state information clearly.”
— Carolyn M. Clancy, MD,
Director of the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
In her article “Why It’s Wise to Use a Health Advocate,” Dr. Clancy states that health advocates can:
- Ask questions or voice concerns to your doctor for you
- Ask the “what’s next” questions, such as: “If this test is negative, what does it mean? If it’s positive, will more tests be needed?”
- Compile or update your medicine list
- File paperwork or assist with insurance matters
- Help arrange rides
- Help you follow treatment instructions, including asking questions about your follow-up care
- Remember your medicine schedule
- Research treatment options, procedures, doctors, and hospitals