The Private Health Advisor; Next Level Healthcare and Patient Advocate
Fifty years ago, doctors traveled to the homes of their patients, watched as families grew and spent time talking to their patients. Now the average office visit is 11 minutes and physicians may be seeing as many as 40 patients a day. To counter the long waits for rushed appointments, the confusion about what types of care are available and best suit your needs, and the stress of navigating the U.S. healthcare system, a new profession has emerged—the professional healthcare and patient advocate. If we do not have this in the glossary already it should be added. While many families have typically relied on a member of the family who, by default in difficult situations, becomes the dedicated healthcare advocate for a loved one, the education and training for the professional healthcare and patient advocate is expanding as the U.S. healthcare system buckles under the weight of cost control, bureaucracy and treatment options.
For more than 20 years, Sarah Lawrence College has offered a graduate degree to become a healthcare and patient advocate. Several other colleges and universities have followed suit, creating both graduate and undergraduate programs of study for those who wish to become a healthcare and patient advocate. Most graduates of these programs become healthcare policy advocates, professional healthcare advocates, or work in hospitals or other medical settings as ombudsmen and patient advocates, responsible for helping patients and their families find the care and services they need within that particular institution.
But there's an exciting new development within the field—the professional private health advisor who is not tied to a single medical institution or network of doctors. This goes beyond the traditional healthcare and patient advocate. These specially trained individuals can be found at PinnacleCare, where a private health advisor does more than guide patients and families to the best care available. PinnacleCare's private health advisors manage the entire healthcare process, from collecting medical records from all of the healthcare practitioners a family has seen, to expediting appointments and completing the necessary paperwork, to accompanying patients to appointments to act as an objective "second pair of ears."
"By creating a comprehensive service that provides independent, high quality professional health management 24/7, we are able to help people who are confused by the multiplicity of treatment options and the complexity of medical information," explains John Hutchins, Founder of PinnacleCare, the firm at the forefront of this new form of comprehensive private health advisory. "The role our private health advisor team takes on extends far beyond the traditional definition of a healthcare advocate to comprehensive, personalized management of the whole healthcare experience for the entire family. When you're dealing with a serious medical situation, it's only natural to be overwhelmed. People tend to be confused about their options and too distracted or upset to ask the important questions that need to be asked. A private health advisor takes up that role, taking notes, doing research, providing information in layman's terms, and asking questions. This allows the family members to turn their energies toward loving and supporting the patient."