January 10, 2018

Patient Self-Advocacy


Healthcare is personal, and the focus should be on you. Taking an active role in your care not only helps providers offer better care, but also helps you to better follow your treatment plan. You can take the following steps to ensure you’re advocating for yourself while receiving medical care.

Ask Questions

It’s normal to have concerns about your illness or condition and treatment plan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your providers want to make sure you understand to help achieve a better outcome. If your provider doesn’t take your questions and concerns seriously, consider finding another provider.

Pay Attention

Be alert and keep track of your providers, appointments, what times of day you receive care, the medications administered and any other relevant information. Your providers should confirm both their and your identity prior to administering care.

Share Pertinent Information

It’s difficult for your doctors to offer proper care without information on your medical history, medications you’re on and the severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing. Offer up all information that may be remotely relevant to your providers. Concealing any information will only hinder the effectiveness of your care.

Stay Healthy At Home

Health care doesn’t end when you walk out the hospital or clinic doors. Be sure you understand your discharge directions. Adhering to your treatment plan can help you avoid further complications.

Appoint A Decision Maker

There may be times when you’re unable to ask questions and make decisions on your behalf. Select a trusted friend or family member to advocate for you when you’re unable. Be sure you take any necessary steps to give this person legal permission to make decisions about your care.

Give Feedback

Not only do you have the ability to advocate for yourself, but you can help advocate for others by offering feedback. Your experiences can help improve the care other patients may receive in the future.

At Baptist Health, we take patient advocacy seriously. We offer many programs and take precautions to ensure every patient receives the highest level of care. Click here for more information or to contact us with feedback.

Learn More.