What is a Holistic Patient Advocate?

Emily Roach Holistic Patient Advocate

Recently I received a certification as a holistic patient advocate. I wanted to share what a holistic patient advocate can do for you and how they work differently from a traditional health advocate.

What is a Patient Advocate?

As a health coach working with women, I have seen them silenced by their physicians. Their symptoms are dismissed or ignored.

“It’s normal at your age.” 

That, my friend, is not an explanation for your symptoms.

What’s more frustrating is many women don’t understand their rights as a patient. They don’t know what tests they can request because no one taught them. Others may not ask questions about a new medication if they are intimidated by their doctor.

Health care advocates work with patients and their families to support and promote their needs and rights as they navigate the complicated U.S. health care system. A patient/health advocate uses their expertise to help clients:

  • Understand a difficult diagnosis

  • Find the best treatment options and research what’s new

  • Assist with doctors’ visits and subsequent care

  • Find the right doctor and practitioners based on your locations, needs, insurance, and availability

  • Resolve issues with health insurance and medical bills

  • Ensure multiple providers are coordinating care

Independent Health Advocate or Hospital Patient Advocate?

There are independent health advocates and hospital patient advocate. An independent one works for you and you alone. (or a family member hires you for assistance.)

A hospital patient advocate listens to complaints in the hospital setting or helps prepare someone for an in-patient procedure. They work like a customer service of sorts and work to advocate for the patients. Ultimately though, they do work for the hospital and have to work within their system’s constraints.

Is a Patient Advocate just for seniors?

I had this question when I first started learning more about becoming a patient advocate. And the answer is no. Patient advocates do not work only with an elderly community. They often work with clients who have a chronic disease, emergencies and need to feel empowered about their health.

Some patient advocates do work exclusively with elders. They often spend a lot of time reviewing home health needs or assisted living accommodations. They will also offer support developing a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs, Advance Directives, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate orders (both in-hospital and out-of-hospital), and similar documents.

Holistic Yoga

What is the role of a Holistic Patient Advocate?

A holistic patient advocate helps effectively support, advocate for, and navigate for their clients through the broken healthcare system so they can get to the root cause. They are treating the whole patient, not just the disease.

Here are the key things a holistic patient advocate is going to review with you:

  • how to improve your symptoms, not just drug them

  • address your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs

  • adjust nutrition, movement, mindset, and stress management

  • connect with additional providers for symptom relief (like chiropractors or acupuncturists)

The conventional healthcare system is a gigantic, confusing, overwhelming mess that often makes patients give up on trying to get answers and heal naturally. The integrative and holistic medicine world can also be challenging to navigate, with many treatments and therapies not covered by insurance. (It took years for acupuncture to become reimbursed by insurance, but so many people still don’t know this little tip.) It also uses a very different model that most patients are unfamiliar with and feel intimidated.

You deserve to understand what holistic practices may help you with a chronic disease, or your loved ones.

Holistic Patient Advocate and chiropractor

Why I got certified as a Holistic Patient Advocate.

I am someone who was the victim of medical errors. I was misdiagnosed and spent years on a medication I had no business being on. It caused damaging side effects and had a lasting impact on my life. It’s estimated that 440,000 people die each year in the U.S. from medical errors. (source) With the rise of chronic disease, I know there is a growing need for patient advocates.

I think patient education is essential, and it often helps women to have someone advocate on their behalf. I like being the sounding board for clients before seeing the doctor, so they feel empowered to ask questions.

I got certified in holistic patient advocacy to deepen my knowledge of navigating the conventional healthcare system and marrying it with my wellness background. To ensure you get to the root cause of chronic health issues, that you aren’t a victim of medical error, and don’t become overwhelmed by the complexity of the system such that it discourages you or beats you down so much that you don’t go through with the healing journey. It would help if you didn’t deal with what I’ve been through.

If you are considering working with me to understand and heal chronic health symptoms or illness or support you during a healthcare challenge, schedule a free discovery call today: 

What is a Holistic Patient Advocate_