Health Advocates

Studies show that people who understand health instructions make fewer mistakes when they take their medicine or prepare for a medical procedure. They may also get well sooner or be able to better manage a chronic health condition. That's when having a health or patient advocate can help.

A health advocate is a family member, friend, trusted coworker, or a hired professional who can ask questions, write down information, and speak up for you so you can better understand your illness and get the care and resources you need.

Research shows that quality health care means taking an active role in decisions about your care. If you're facing a difficult medical decision, it's a good idea to bring someone with you who can help you take an active role in your care when you're not fully up to it.

Having an advocate at medical appointments or during a hospital stay can ensure that you get the information you need to manage your health.

Health advocates can:

  • Ask questions or voice concerns to your doctor for you.
  • Compile or update your medicine list.
  • Remember your medication regimen and help you follow treatment instructions, including asking questions about your follow-up care.
  • Help arrange transportation.
  • Research treatment options, procedures, doctors, and hospitals.
  • File paperwork or assist with insurance matters.
  • Ask the "what's next" questions, such as, "If this test is negative what does it mean? If it's positive, will more tests be needed?"