What is a Patient Advocate?

The healthcare industry is complex, fragmented, and not completely patient centered. It has become so tenuous that patients really do need a go-between to help them navigate the system. Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Nurses cannot do it alone any more.  Without that expert to step in and shepherd us, patients may succumb not to a disease or condition, but to the problems in the system that is intended to help them. 

Patient advocates support and promote patients' rights as they navigate the healthcare system. If you are ill, managing your health can be confusing and overwhelming. And when things go wrong, it can be hard to get your voice heard by healthcare professionals around you. Healthcare providers and administrators do not intend to make things difficult for patients, but the system is so complicated that there is not much time for compassion and understanding. A patient advocate may act as liaison between a patient and their healthcare provider.  

Typical patient advocacy activities are the following:  

  • Patient rights 
  • Matters of privacy 
  • Confidentiality or informed consent 
  • Patient representation 
  • Awareness building 
  • Support and education of patients 
  • Resolving disputes between patients and their healthcare provider 

  
The Patient Advocate Program   

The Patient Advocate Program assists patients receiving care at GANV. The advocate can guide you through the confusing maze of healthcare. They can focus exclusively on your needs and help you resolve concerns about the quality of your care, get the care you need; they will ensure that your voice is heard and you are included in the decision-making process. 

Our Patient Advocate Program goals: 

  • Ensure appropriate use of healthcare resources on behalf of the patient. 
  • Improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. 
  • Ensure patients and families have a voice in their care. 

 
In general, a patient advocate handles complaints that you have about your treatment, healthcare providers or staff. They are employed by GANV at no cost to you, they are the one person dedicated to ensure you have someone who you can communicate with, to raise concerns and better understand your care so you can make informed decisions. The patient advocate is your partner on the path to a healthier you.