Imagine planning a vacation for a year with all of your friends, and it all be ruined because of a PREVENTABLE medical error!
Well, that is what happened to my Dad!
If I had not advocated for him, he could have died. That is when I quit my corporate America job and started my company, Hughes Advocacy, in which I am a board-certified patient advocate.
Fast forward to COVID. My Dad suffered a stroke due to a misdiagnosis and negligence. As a result, my Dad will never get some of his speech back. Because of this, in January 2021, I developed the first and only online course for patients, about patients, and with the patient in mind. I hope that my online class can reach as many hurting patients as I can. I am so angry and frustrated by the medical harm that is happening to YOU, the patient.
Medical errors, diagnostic errors, and patient safety concerns are on the rise. It is the patient's responsibility to own their health care. I catch a preventable medical error every single day. If you do not think it is happening to you, then you are misleading yourself. We will all be misdiagnosed in our lifetime. It is not a matter of if, but when.
Do you know what a case manager, nurse navigator, or care coordinator is? I have heard of them and know what they are, but in the 6 years as an advocate, I have never had one help my client or me with coordinating their care. The only time that I have interacted with one is when they find out that their patient has retained me as their advocate. Then they reach out to the patient and me.
For example, I had a client who had been seeing their doctor for 6 months. The patient hired me as she was in desperate need of help. When the nurse navigator found out the patient had retained me, she called me and asked why I was an advocate and I shouldn't be promoting my business because that is what she does. I then asked her if she could explain to me if this were so, why has she NEVER contacted this patient and assisted her with her medical care in 6 months? She then called the client and asked how much she was paying for my services and to fire me. The client told her never to contact her again as she had no idea who she was and has never helped her.
Another example, I had a client needing help with rehab and insurance after her cancer diagnosis. I reached out to the care coordinator and asked for her assistance as the information required could only be handled by the hospital. She not only argued with me but called the client and told her to handle it. However, they refused to help in getting the patient the medical treatment needed.
I am on a national leadership group with healthcare executives and physicians, and most of us do not even understand their role. For example, I had a cardiologist ask me why hospitals continue to add these positions as he sees no value and has never been helped by them with his patients.
Below are some of the responsibilities a care coordinator, case manager, or nurse navigator are to be provided to YOU as the patient:
Health risk assessments, Risk-reduction strategies
Facilitate access to services - Referrals to community-based resources
Coordination of medical and social services
Ensure patient knowledge and compliance with treatment
Coordinates patient, follow-up clinic visits, verify appropriate tests.
Coordinates care of patients, serving as a resource for patients, families, physicians, and other health team members in delivering care.
Obtains information regarding referring physicians to assist in the continuum of care or return to referring physicians for continued care.
Provides patient/family education regarding care, medications, and access to additional resources in the continuum of care.
I had a client who unfortunately died unnecessarily. There was absolutely no care coordination for this patient. The care coordinator would not answer the family's questions about their condition or help with coordinating the doctors to come and speak with the family. Instead, she continued to tell the family just to take the patient home and let her die. By the time I was contacted to help, it was too late. The family wanted answers as they had been dismissed and ignored for 5 weeks. I demanded a patient huddle be done at the bedside to talk to this family as NO ONE was helping them. They at least deserved some answers and empathy.
While my Dad was in the hospital after his stroke, we NEVER saw a care coordinator, case manager, or nurse navigator. Luckily, my Dad has me as an advocate, and I coordinated all of his discharge, home health care to include setting up his speech therapy, and insurance.
I am not trying to be disrespectful, just bold, transparent, and honest. These are my opinions based on the experience that I have seen as a patient advocate for over 6 years. I could tell you horror story after horror story. The healthcare system is financially driven, and you are just a dollar sign. My Dad is NOT a dollar sign, and neither are YOU. You cannot trust the broken and fragmented healthcare system.
In my online course, I teach you how to be your own advocate, navigator, case manager, and coordinator. I give you my book, resources, tips, and tools that you need to be a proactive patient and get the medical care you need and deserve. The course is built from my experience as an advocate and actual patient experiences and errors. Then I teach you what to do and how to apply this information to YOUR medical situation.
ALL OF MY COURSES ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!! Go to my website and take the quiz to test your healthcare knowledge, watch the demos, see all of the course topics, and pick the option that is best for YOU! www.hughesadvocacy.com
Just do something!