common sense

Just What Does It Take to Be a Successful Patient Advocate?

strong and self-confident

I heard recently from a woman who represents many of you. Specifically, she wanted to know whether she could be successful if she committed herself to advocacy. She isn’t sure if she knows enough to be able to handle every client situation that comes her way. She wanted a pep talk. She wanted me to convince her that she knows enough. Yes, it was time to invoke one of my favorite quotations, provided to us by Henry Ford of Model “T” fame: “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” The …

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How Wearing the Right Shoes Can Define Your Success

shoes

In the midst of this spring’s APHA Academy, we are working on marketing lessons. Marketing – that very necessary planning step in client acquisition that forces us to figure out WHO needs our services, WHY they need our services, and HOW best we can communicate the information they need to hire us. We do that by defining our target audiences, figuring out what motivates them to hire us, then making sure we provide messages supportive of that goal. Now, granted, that sounds like a lot of marketing-speak! So instead, let me phrase it more simply: We learn to walk a …

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She Crossed the Line: An Ethics Violation Which Gave Us All a Black Eye

bruised - black eye

It was jarring. It was upsetting. And it was taken care of swiftly. One among us decided that advocacy ethics don’t apply to her. And her actions, way outside our best practices and ethics, could have caused a patient to die. This is what happened (with no names or identifiable citations, because it could have been anywhere or anyone, and those specifics aren’t the point): I was first informed of the problem last October (2020) when I heard from the Senior Investigator from the State Board of Nursing. She had identified me as a leader in the profession of independent …

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Elevating Normal

elbow bumps

Today I’m sharing with you a recent revelation, based on a conversation with my friend, Grace. It’s H-U-U-G-E! With just a slight shift in thinking and approach, it can be used to manage our lives in the midst of this pandemic, our dreams for what’s to come post-pandemic, and even more so (and far more appropriate to this blog) our advocacy and care management practices. We’ve Been Selling Peace of Mind What the smartest independent advocates among us understand is that when a prospective client calls to inquire about our services, they aren’t really asking about what services we provide. …

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Success in 2020 Meant Finding Our Relocated Cheese

mouse and cheese

2020 has been a year for the books, right? Few, if any, health and patient advocates or care managers will tell you that 2020 has been a good business year, much less a good year personally. But those of you who know me and my thought process, know that I like to look at every challenge as an opportunity.  And with that in mind, it’s a good opportunity to point out the important lesson that those who have survived 2020 in business have learned: We have learned what to do when someone moves our cheese.   So if you are scratching …

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What Aretha Franklin Can Teach Us About Communication

r-e-s-p-e-c-t

This post asks the question: Under what circumstances do we go to the wall for our patient-clients? And when we need to go there, what’s the best approach? Scenario: Your patient-client checks in for a medical appointment and the receptionist is rude during the process. Do you say or do anything? And if so – how and what?  Scenario: As you sit by your patient’s hospital bedside, a nurse comes in to change a dressing already wearing gloves. You ask her to wash her hands and put on new gloves and she cops an attitude. Do you insist? And if …

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All That – But Missing Your Bag of Chips?

Over the years, I’ve met, discussed, emailed, pleaded, and thrown my hands up at (probably) hundreds of advocates who have never truly become professional, independent, practicing advocates. They might have told you they were/are advocates. They SAID they were in business. But their efforts were half-hearted. They didn’t ever ACTIVELY go into business. Instead they joined an organization, or set up a website, or printed business cards, or told their friends they were in business… they might even have listed themselves in a directory or two… But it was all very half-hearted. Why? Because of that idea that they weren’t …

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