How Do You Advocate for Patient Care Improvements?

How Do You Advocate for Patient Care Improvements?

Navigating the complex world of patient care requires not just expertise but also a commitment to continual improvement. We reached out to healthcare professionals, including a Physician Assistant and a Medical Doctor, to share their experiences and steps taken when advocating for patient care improvements. From implementing incremental protocol changes to providing supportive patient advocacy, discover the five key strategies they've employed to enhance the healthcare experience.

  • Implement Incremental Protocol Changes
  • Integrate Remote Patient-Monitoring Systems
  • Follow Established Advocacy Channels
  • Develop Personalized Fertility Care Plans
  • Provide Supportive Patient Advocacy

Implement Incremental Protocol Changes

When advocating for patient-care improvements, it's good to be realistic and concise. Big ideas are great for brainstorming sessions, but when I actually need to suggest a protocol change, it's important to remember the power of baby steps. Hospital bureaucracy is dense, after all.

What I've done is create actionable tasks that start small. For example, if I'm trying to get all team members in a patient's room together to discuss care holistically, I might first settle for the nurse and surgeon only. I'll also give instructions on how and when their busy schedules might align.

Moving incrementally and providing specific directives increases the chance of compliance, and I can then build on these small wins, moving care in a more effective direction.

Carlos da Silva
Carlos da SilvaPhysician Assistant, PA Career Hub

Integrate Remote Patient-Monitoring Systems

Good morning, Emily.

Thank you for reaching out. I am happy to contribute my thoughts, and I hope you find them helpful.

There was once a time when I concerned myself with the chronic conditions of my patients. They seemed to misunderstand how to use the medication effectively, despite best efforts to ensure patient understanding before the end of the encounter. So, I advocated for the integration of a remote patient-monitoring system to improve the quality of care. As a result, I led a team of healthcare professionals trained in monitoring levels and following up on patients who exceed specified parameters. This allowed us to identify potential problems sooner and speak with the patient to reduce hospital readmissions. This initiative highlighted the value of technology in improving quality of care for better patient outcomes.

As for attribution in the article, you are free to use my profile photo and name, as well as my LinkedIn and company links.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you in advance for your time.

- Sami

Sami Daniel
Sami DanielMedical Doctor, Dr Sami Daniel

Follow Established Advocacy Channels

Advocating for patient care improvement requires tact, professionalism, and patience. Accessing the necessary and provided channels is always the right track to take, whether it's following your chain of command, talking with a supervisor first, or having to fill out the right form. In any scenario, following the established steps is the right, first thing to do. As a nurse, being a patient advocate is a necessary and important role to accept and use for the patient's best interest. When I have not complained and instead asked, when I politely requested instead of being frustrated, when I used more honey than vinegar, I caught more flies—if you know what I mean. The ask is almost always fine, but the correct 'how' is more often the issue in being an effective advocate for your patient.

Michael Hasebroock
Michael HasebroockNurse Educator, Joyce University

Develop Personalized Fertility Care Plans

Advocating for patient care improvements is vital, especially in the nuanced field of fertility care. Here's how I approach this as a naturopathic doctor specializing in fertility:

1. Identify the Cause: I start by clearly identifying areas in fertility care workup that need to be addressed. This can come from patient symptoms, clinical observations, or comprehensive lab review.

2. Research and Evidence Gathering: I thoroughly research and gather evidence on best practices related to the identified issue. This includes reviewing clinical studies, guidelines, and protocols, with a focus on holistic and integrative approaches to fertility.

3. Conduct Comprehensive Lab Work: I ensure comprehensive lab work is part of the patient evaluation process. This involves detailed hormonal panels, nutrient deficiency screenings, thyroid function tests, sperm testing, and other relevant biomarkers that can impact fertility.

4. Care Coordination with Other Providers: I collaborate closely with other healthcare providers, including OB/GYNs, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive care and addresses all aspects of a patient's fertility journey.

5. Develop a Personalized Treatment Strategy Plan: Based on lab findings and patient history, I develop a personalized treatment strategy plan. This plan is tailored to address the root causes identified in the lab work and includes targeted supplements, dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and possibly botanical medicines.

6. Monitor and Adjust: Continuous monitoring of the patient's progress is crucial. Fertility care is dynamic, and ongoing evaluation helps maintain high standards and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Rosia ParrishNaturopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Wellness Center of Boulder

Provide Supportive Patient Advocacy

Advocacy is a vital element in patient care at any health care service level. It is important to offer supportive measures for patients and their families. Providing validation, guidance, and support allows patients and families to focus on what is important and needed for recovery, progression, and identifying obstacles or barriers. In my role, I provide advocacy through therapeutic listening, as well as arranging and participating in daily rounding and patient care conferences. I try to separate myself from any biases and view the situation globally and realistically. I demonstrate advocacy by offering solutions, seeking mutually determined goals, and helping to outline obtainable expectations. Advocacy is a continuum that is ongoing throughout the healthcare journey. Advocating for patients and their needs will result in optimal outcomes.

Brooke Edell
Brooke EdellPediatric Nurse Case Manager

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