hospitalized patients

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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What Aretha Franklin Can Teach Us About Communication

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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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The Momma Test

Portrait of an old woman with her adult daughter.

Over the years, one of my favorite things to do has been to work with / speak to / address college students. They are young, aren’t yet set in their ways, still hope to save the world, are naive to the “follow the money” aspects of healthcare and, honestly, it’s just plain fun. Last week I had the privilege of participating in an ethics debate for a well-known and respected university in a course called Controversies in Healthcare (medical, legal, and bio ethics), to a combination group of law students and medical students, on the topic of independent advocacy – …

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment. So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I …

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SAFE! … or Maybe Not?

Safety has been on my mind this week. It’s one of those concepts that, when related to patient advocacy and care management, can be applied in so many ways, with not so many easy answers. What kind of safety> Physical safety, of course. AND financial safety. Whose safety> Your clients’ safety, of course. AND yours. The questions aren’t so much about what is safe, or what isn’t. The questions are about judgment, timing, and consequences, and recognizing safety issues when the problems are obvious – vs – those times that are less obvious that we might miss all together – …

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Sleep Deprivation Spells Opportunity – and Responsibility

AdvoConnection hero

Saturday night (well, OK, in the wee hours of Sunday morning) across most of the US and Canada, we “sprung forward” our clocks, resulting in lost sleep, and at least a day of being totally thrown off because the day seemed… well…. just weird. Since most of us don’t work on a Sunday, the day of adjustment helped us acclimate, and then – life goes on with a longer day of sunshine through next Fall. But what if you had to lose that sleep every few days, then re-acclimate every few days> What if you spent your life in a …

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Carly Simon, Ketchup and an Advocate’s Secret Sauce

Many readers of this blog (members of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates) know we’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to complete the build of the new APHA membership website. Short of raising my two daughters, I think it’s the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken – just enormous – hundreds of resources and thousands of pages – and I’m happy that it is now complete! (Or at least as close as it will ever be – these things are never truly complete.) Along the way, I’ve learned a few lessons about how to approach the work that …

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