Although the field of patient advocacy has been around for a while, many people aren't clear on what such this service provides. In short, a patient advocate will help you navigate the healthcare system, a process that can start outside of the hospital. An advocate can attend your doctor's appointments to guide you in asking the right questions and keeping track of your doctor's recommendations. He or she can help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options and make difficult medical decisions. A patient advocate also can help you access your medical records and understand the results of medical tests.
In the hospital, a patient advocate will evaluate your treatment and make sure that you don't contract a infection. Finally, an advocate can help you decide what to do once you've left the hospital. The advocate can help you send insurance claims and make sense of your hospital bills. Advocates can be especially beneficial for geriatric patients, as they can help to arrange senior care and hospice services.