Success Tips for Principle 5: Build a Strong Personal Support Team | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Return to top.

Success Tips for Principle 5: Build a Strong Personal Support Team

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Success Tip

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
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