Do You Need A Health Detective
... Call your RN Patient Advocate!
What People are Saying About RN Patient Advocates
RN Patient Advocacy in The News
Private Patient Advocates Help Navigate the Medical Maze, Chicago Tribune, May 2015 * This article spotlights an iRNPA Graduate.
RNPA Intensive - Learning Experience
“In a year’s time after taking the RNPA Learning Intensive, my career, my health, my family, my very life has been transformed. I am forever grateful” — Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA
“The way of the future of nursing...an absolute must if you want to make and be the difference in righting the wrongs of healthcare. Kare is a wonderful mentor who has put her soul into this program. Passion, Vision, Perseverance.” — Lana Benton, RN, iRNPA
“The forethought, experience, openness, philosophy and preparation provides all the tools, thought process, and confidence to begin and succeed as an iRNPA.” — Leta Gill, RN, iRNPA
“My experience attending the iRNPA program was a refreshing one, to say the least. This program was packed with life changing information that is not readily taught or available to RN's. This program equipped me with the tools I need to be an iRNPA! If you are ready for a change after working for many years in the clinical setting, and are driven to help patients and families, this is the program for you! Karen is a wealth of knowledge that is unmatched in the advocacy process.” — Jamie Long
“Thank you so much for putting together such an incredible RN PA intensive course! It is truly intensive but so worth it! I learned a lot and will be using the Medical Time Line and lab spreadsheet with as many clients as i can. All great information and can’t wait to get my speaking engagements lined up now that I have your fantastic power points!” — Nan Wetherhorn, Health Care Advisor, www.healthcareadvisornan.com
Patients and Your Families: Choose Your Patient Advocate Wisely!
- Is your patient advocate an experienced clinical RN who has completed a clinically based, University backed education program teaching the full range of Patient Advocate services?
- Will your patient advocate research all of your treatment options - including within the Integrative Medicine Model and the Functional Medicine Chronic Care Model?
- Does the range of services offered you include clinical advocacy, health education and access to all components and paradigms of the healthcare system?
- Will your patient advocate ensure the completeness and integrity of your diagnostic work-up?
- Will your patient advocate ensure that you are consulting with the right specialty doctors?
- Will your patient advocate build the most effective therapeutic team, including Integrative and Functional Medicine modalities as appropriate to enhance your recovery?
- Will your patient advocate utilize your full medical history, creating and communicating this comprehensive medical chronology to all your health providers to minimize your risk of death and disability due to medical errors?
- Will your patient advocate teach you and your family how to be a powerful and effective health advocate on your own behalf.
Important factors to consider about being a healthcare advocate for yourself:
Curiosity can save your life! Use the same spirit of inquiry to seek out medical care that you use to shop for a car or a vacuum! Investigate, ask questions. Always seek a second opinion. Any qualified professional will welcome your researching. You are very important to many people. Do your research carefully and choose wisely.
Remember that every human being is fallible, including healthcare providers. Do a background search on the hospital as well as the physicians you choose. *Contact your state’s Board of Medicine/Medical Examiners for physician information (www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html).
You can compare hospital quality ratings at www.ConsumerHealthRatings.com as well as at www.HealthGrades.com. Both are independent sites. If possible, choose a hospital that specializes in care of your particular condition.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), a federal regulatory body governing all healthcare institutions which accept federal funds, along with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a national campaign to help patients advocate for themselves and prevent medical errors: The Speak Up Initiative.
The Speak Up program encourages people to:
1. Speak up if your have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again, it’s your body and you have a right to know.
2. Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medicines by the correct healthcare professionals. Don’t assume anything.
3. Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get. Learn your treatment options and ask about your treatment plan.
4. Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your Advocate (advisor or supporter).
5. Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common healthcare mistakes. (A wonderful resource to learn about your meds is www.rxlist.com. Learn this site and tell others)
6. Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center or other healthcare institution that has met federal guidelines. Ask about their Joint Commission rating on their quality standards.
7. Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the healthcare team!
Remember, it is your right to refuse treatment until you understand what is happening.
Watch for the simple things: all healthcare workers must wash hands before working with you. Stethoscopes should be washed as well.
Ask your nurse to identify all medications before you take them.
Have your doctor clearly mark the site of your upcoming surgery. This is really important as mistakes are made everyday.
When your healthcare issue or illness is too complex, the system too confusing, call an independent RN Patient Advocate to help you through. We can protect your rights and safety, educate you and advocate on your behalf with all your medical providers. We wish you the best of health and will assist you in any way we can in your healthcare journey.
Be safe….ask questions!
Also the iRNPA Patient Support page offers more answers click here