Things That Health Advocates Do For The Community
Health advocacy works on direct service to the family or individual while promoting health as well as access to healthcare in communities and larger public. Health advocates are supporting and promoting the rights of patient in healthcare arena, enhance health policy initiatives focused on the safe and quality care available and help build capacity in improving community health.
Health advocates are ideal as well in terms of addressing challenges of patient centered care in this complex health care system. The Institute of Medicine or IOM defines patient centered care as health care that establishes partnership among patients, their families when appropriate as well as practitioners to be certain that decisions made are respecting the patient’s needs, wants as well as preferences and that the patients have education and support needed in making decisions and participating in their own care.
Patient centered care is additionally among the overreaching goals of health advocacy on top of safer medical systems and greater patient involvement in the healthcare design and delivery.
Patient representatives, educators, care managers, ombudsmen, health advisers and patient navigators are all considered as health advocates who work directly in patient care environment similar to community health centers, hospitals, long term care facilities, private and independent practice and patient services programs of non-profit organizations. They collaborate with other health care providers to be able to mediate the conflicts and facilitate positive change. And as being health information specialists and educators, these advocates work to empower others.
In policy arenas, health advocates are working for a positive change in health care system, protection and enhancement of the rights of patients from position in government agencies, access to quality care, disease specific voluntary associations, national health policy organizations and grassroots and media. There might be some distinction between the patient advocates who are specifically working with or on behalf of families and individual patients or disease specific voluntary association and even health advocates whose work is primarily focused on the communities, system as a whole or policies. However, the terms health advocate and patient advocate are often used interchangeably.
The fast growing sectors of health advocacy includes advocates in the clinical research settings especially those who are concentrated in protecting human subjects of medical research, advocates who are serving clients in the private practice alone or even in bigger and more established companies and advocates in various disease specific associations most especially the ones who are centered on widespread chronic conditions or genetic disorders.
Health advocates play an integral role in the society as they are making sure that everyone is getting quality and top notch healthcare service.