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  • Karen McPhail, RN, BSN, MSN, CCM, CDP

How RN Care Manager's Serve as Advocates for Their Clients!

Health advocacy encompasses a wide range of services to the individual or family as well as activities that promote holistic health, wellness, and access to navigating health care in communities and beyond! Although we are known for our care management services for older adults we have always provided holistic support for patients of all ages focusing complex care situations. From organ transplant, to challenging dementias we are here to help and guide the way!

So how does on choose the best healthcare advocate?

A good health advocate is someone who understands your expressed wishes and needs completely and is patient, level, calm, organized, assertive, but not aggressive, and not timid, thus being comfortable in asking questions and helping to move things forward base don your wishes and care needs. When selecting an advocate, it is best to:

  • Clearly explain the kind of help you want, need, and any concerns. What is important to you?

  • Provide details of your medical history. You may even want to give your advocate access to your electronic health record so they can refer to consults, progress notes, in patient visits, diagnostics, etc, ask for refills on prescription medication, and even email questions or concerns to your healthcare team. You wil need to provide a release granting permission for the doctor and other health care professionals to share information about you with your advocate.

  • Ask the advocate to take notes or even record conversations with health care providers and keep a good chronology of care. (Always ask for your healthcare providers permission before recording).

  • Give your advocate’s contact information to your health care team, and give your advocate your health care team’s contact information. Ensure they have a list of your medications, health history, and complete a long terms care plan (Eldementals offers free template) or do relational estate planning to ensure they have all the information and details needed to properly advocate. .

  • The most important thing is choosing someone you respect and can trust to be both discreet and caring. Find the best fit for you!

So how can an RN Care Manager really be helpful as an advocate for a patient in the community, hospital or other congregate care setting? RN Care Managers are experts in the field with specialized knowledge, training, experience, connections, and abilities so they are able to ask all the right questions, analyze situations fully, and often expedite care navigation. Reach out today if you would like to learn more about RN Care Management. You may also visit ALCA Mid Atlantic to search and find the best fit for you!!!

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