Board Certified Patient Advocate
While the concept of private nurse advocacy is relatively new in Canada, it’s quickly gaining support within the medical community. This is due to doctors and other health care providers recognizing there is tremendous value in having a nurse working exclusively on behalf of a patient. Healthcare has become a complex system, patients and families often face enormous challenges. Health/Patient Advocates, sometimes referred to as Patient Navigators, can provide valuable assistance. Certifications like the BCPA help to provide assurance of quality, as well as safe and ethical conduct. A nurse advocate is a nurse who works on behalf of patients to promote their health and safety, maintain quality of care and protect patients’ rights. They intervene when there is a care concern, and following the proper channels, work to resolve any patient care issues.
- They assist in guiding the client in medical decision-making, but at no time will make decisions about health, medical care, or payment for medical services on their behalf
- They facilitate appointments, virtually accompany the client to the appointment, while taking notes and asking questions as appropriate so that the patient/client receives the advice and information they need in a timely fashion.Frequently at appointments there is so much information being provided that it becomes overwhelming to the patient/client. The advocate is there to assist with documenting key information and provides notes for patients, some of whom are dealing with pain, or who want help in explaining complex medical terminology and treatment options.
- They assist with obtaining the appropriate paperwork to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, CPP or Ontario Disability Support Program.
- They assist with obtaining a second opinion if recently diagnosed with an illness.
- They assist you if you or a family member wish to explore addition treatment options to make the best informed decision.
- They can assist if you or a loved one is concerned about safety of an upcoming hospital stay or how your loved one is treated while hospitalized.
- They assist you or your loved one suffering from mental health challenges.
- They maintain an up-to-date electronic medical records.
- If you or your loved one is alone and need help navigating any part of the Canadian Healthcare System, an advocate may be right for you.