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The Patient Navigator Blog


From advice on specific illnesses to tips on how to communicate with your specialists, there’s a wealth of knowledge on the Patient Navigator blog.

Recent Posts

Caregivers

Holiday Grieving – My Tips for Survival


Many people experience depression during the holiday season. Now imagine trying to face it when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is very hard. It is painful. It is unbearably sad. Here are my own tips on how to get through the holidays if you are grieving.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Make the Most of Your Prescription Drug Plan


When choosing a health insurance plan, it’s just as important to make sure the medicines you take regularly are covered as it is to know that your doctor is covered. Selecting the right prescription coverage for you and your family is important to maintaining and restoring your health while managing costs. For those without drug insurance, there are many organizations that can help.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Taking Care of You


Doctors and other members of the health-care team should regularly assess a patient’s emotional and social needs, and then ensure that the patient is linked to appropriate resources. In reality, though, most do not have the time or staff resources to manage the psycho-social needs of a seriously ill person. Our roadmap series weaves together for you a coherent approach to managing your situation so that you can focus on treatment, healing and recovery.

Chronic Disease

Defensive Medicine Costs Spelled Out


The practice of defensive medicine decreases patient access to health care, and increases costs of health care for everyone. Some patients are left in the lurch as physicians avoid the sickest patients, or those requiring higher-risk procedures, in order to reduce their exposure to malpractice suits. A 2008 study by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that 83% of its physicians practiced defensive medicine at a cost of more than $1.4 billion annually in that state alone.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Organize Your Financial Records


You have stacks of medical reports, bills, insurance statements, claim forms, and payment records piling up and causing you stress. Piles of disorganized paper (and electronic records) can surely intimidate any patient. If you ignore the paper, you might not take necessary medical actions or you could fail to maximize your insurance benefits. This roadmap will help you must organize these important documents into a user-friendly system.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Develop Your Treatment Plan


It’s not uncommon to assume that your physician’s recommended cancer treatment must begin immediately. You’re probably feeling anxious and want treatment to start right away. You want to rid your body of this cancer as soon as possible. However, it is important to know that in most cases, there is time to research the treatment options available to you.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Choosing Your Primary Care Doctor


Your goal is to choose a primary care doctor who will meet your needs and give you quality care. This roadmap will also be useful in choosing any specialists you might need. Primary care doctors are especially trained to serve as your main doctor over the long term. They provide your medical and health care, help you stay healthy, and help to manage your care. Your primary care doctor can refer you to specialists if you need them. Learn how to choose one…

Advocacy and Patient Education

Cast a Wide Net; Explore Your Resources


Undergoing treatment for a serious illness is emotionally draining, expensive, uncertain, and it will almost surely turn your life upside down. Chances are that you will face obstacles and need assistance. Whether that help comes in the form of finding medical information, financial assistance, or emotional support, it’s important to know where you can receive trusted information and guidance.

Advocacy and Patient Education

Caregiving Connections


Caregiving for a friend or loved one can be a life-changing experience on many levels. It may mean putting your own life on hold and it may become all-consuming. It might bring joy and quality time with your loved one, or it may bring heartache and despair at the course of events. Studies show that women are the majority of caregivers in this country, often caring for an aging parent and small children at the same time.

Other health issues

Hospital Infections – Stay Safe!


Preventing hospital infections: 1) Wash hands with soap; 2) Clean patient’s skin with antiseptic; 3) put sterile drapes over entire patient; 4) Wear a sterile mask, gown, hat and gloves; 5) put a sterile dressing over the catheter site. Many hospitals fail this test.

Elder Care

When Should Seniors Stop Driving?


One of the central aspects of American culture is independence. When a person can no longer drive safely, he or she loses a huge degree of that independence. Proper preparation and discussion can help ease the process.

Cancer

Informed Consent: Your Rights and Responsibility


Every person has the right to fully participate in decisions regarding his or her own health care. This legal doctrine is called the right to informed consent. As a patient or caregiver, you have the right and responsibility to obtain as much information as you need to be able to commit to a course of treatment or testing process.

Cancer

Bone Marrow Transplant Concerns


People who are multiracial are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States. However, despite donor drives and new efforts to utilize social networking to increase the number of donors, they are also the most under-represented in the marrow registry.

Mental Health

Depression – One Size Does Not Fit All


We’ve all seen the endless television commercials in which sad and dejected people suddenly start looking happy after taking the particular pill being advertised. However, it’s just not that simple. Depression is a mood disorder that comes in different forms.

Cancer

The Face of Pain


People with chronic, unrelenting pain are often told it is “all in their head” and that they should see a psychologist. Palliative care doctors can help.

Cancer

Perplexed Pediatrician – Should Mom Worry?


When her son’s pediatrician said she had never heard of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov), this young mom was blown away. Should she worry about entrusting her son’s care to a doctor who has never heard of this world-famous institution? Comments invited.

Cancer

Cyberchondria – Don’t Let This Happen to You!


“Cyberchondriacs” spend hours at the computer screen, typing in symptoms, or fears, wading through the results, both accurate and inaccurate, and convincing themselves they have a certain condition. Often, they will print out reams of documentation and present themselves to their doctors, having already diagnosed their “condition” and determined a course of treatment.

Cancer

Cancer and Depression


A cancer diagnosis is an emotional earthquake, unleashing fear, anger, sadness, confusion and uncertainty. Depression is a condition that affects many cancer patients at one point or another. In fact, up to 1 in 4 people with cancer do have clinical depression. The good news is that clinical depression can be treated.