Four things you must know when serious illness strikes: Get Smart Fast. Get Organized. Stand Your Ground, Nicely. Always Follow Up. Read this article for detailed helpful hints.
The Patient Navigator Blog
Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a frightening experience. It is important that you research and educate yourself about your disease and learn to communicate with your medical team. An informed patient gets better results.
Any serious diagnosis thrusts patients and their families into an unfamiliar world of doctors, tests and treatment options. Here are my suggestions as you begin the journey through illness.
Patient advocacy, or patient navigation, is gaining attention as an emerging profession, both in the media and in the popular lexicon, because it fills so many gaps in the current American health care system. This is especially true today as we continue implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is changing the landscape for consumers in how health care is delivered and paid for in this country.
Patient navigation and patient advocacy are dynamic and growing professions. This article explores the background and current landscape of patient navigation and advocacy.
The bewildering sensation of too much information, yet not enough knowledge to use it, is the reality for many people faced with a serious illness or condition. How do you decide what to do?
In all cases, physicians and patients owe each other certain basic obligations. Here is our list for a better relationship.
Only 12% of Americans have proficient health literacy skills, so the majority of adults may have difficulty completing routine health tasks like understanding discharge instructions or diabetes care. There is a strong, independent association between health literacy and health outcomes.
I received the news last week – two more friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I cried. This is the fourth friend in less than two years that has been diagnosed with cancer – a diagnosis that is frightening, life-altering and potentially life-ending. This isn’t fair. Why is this happening? These are 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.
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.
“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.
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.
The March 4, 2010 New York Times included the following article which discussed the emerging profession of health navigators and patient advocates. Take a look. http://tinyurl.com/healthnavigatorNYT
The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently released ethical guidelines addressing patient, physician, and caregiver relationships. The medical community is increasingly respecting the role of caregivers and offering guidance on how to develop that relationship.
Access to investigational therapies is a highly debated topic in the medical world. Investigational therapy involves drugs that are being scientifically tested but not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Often these drugs are offered through programs such as “compassionate use programs,” and “expanded access programs” to allow seriously ill patients access…
The words “clinical trials” can conjure up images of desperate medical experiments with little hope of success. In reality, medical advances and breakthroughs can and have resulted from clinical trials. Without them, we wouldn’t have many of the treatments we have today.
I am encouraged – most of the people I know who have had cancer have beaten their disease and become cancer survivors. They struggled through the chemotherapy, the radiation treatment, surgery, physical and emotional upheavals and come out on the other side. It is a time of celebration and elation. But then the reality of…
Cervical cancer, one of the most preventable and treatable cancers, is on the decline. New screening guidelines or not, it’s important to talk with your gynecologist and decide on a course of action that best suits you
Many of you reading this blog have experienced some type of difficult health situation, for yourselves, a friend or family member. It’s also what makes so many of us passionate about helping others through their illness. It’s why Patient Navigator exists. Since it’s the New Year, most people take some type of inventory of their…
Patient Navigator LLC highlighted in National Comprehensive Cancer Center article on cancer navigation.
The National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants sets professional goals and provides a clear voice and reasoned opinions on health care policy matters.
On June 22, NPR reporter Richard Knox aired this story during the “Morning Edition” broadcast. It was an excellent piece profiling efforts by an individual and a volunteer organization to help patients and families get the care they need to navigate our health care and elder care systems. Each time the media does a piece on…
The doctors and nurses were using words I could not understand. It was September 19, 1998. I was in the emergency room of a large hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. “I’m sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Russell, but your daughter has a brain tumor.” It was the first time in my life that I fainted. When…