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Examining the patient advocate role

For many Pittsburgh residents, the medical field seems larger and doctors are spending less and less time with patients. This can leave patients feeling like they are not getting the care they need, and more importantly, this lack of care may even lead to medical errors. A patient advocate can be a valuable member of a patient's medical team.

A patient advocate guides a patient through the confusing and complicated medical world. This role can act as a liaison between the medical staff and the patient. They can make sure the right tests are being ordered and insurance is billing correctly.

Essentially, patient advocates act as an extra set of eyes and ears to make sure the patient is receiving the best care as possible. Patients who cannot speak for themselves (because they are under anesthesia, in a coma, unconscious, anxious, etc.) can benefit from having a person familiar with the medical system to help during these times. A patient advocate can also be helpful if a patient believes that their needs are not being met or need additional help with test results, treatment methods, etc.

Medical mistakes are being made more and more frequently across the United States. No one ever thinks they will be a victim of medical malpracticee, but it can happen to anyone.

If a person believes they have been the victim of a medical mistake, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpracticee. An attorney can review medical records, consult with medical experts and get the answers the patient deserves. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Everyone deserves the best medical care. Hospitals, labs and doctor offices can be complicated and confusing, and a patient can feel left behind. A patient advocate can help the patient understand what is happening and make sure their needs are being met safely.

Source:, "Why you need a medical sherpa (and how to find one)", Nichole Bazemore, April 5, 2016

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