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Hospital Patient Advocates Are There to Help You

The hospital experience can be confusing and stressful. Communication is key to preventing errors before they happen. During your hospital stay, you might have questions or concerns about the quality of care you are receiving. Or, you may simply want to voice a complaint to someone.

If your hospital is Joint Commission accredited, that means the hospital is required to have a complaint resolution process. Most hospitals have Patient Advocates—also known as Patient Representatives—who help patients resolve their concerns. When patients enter the hospital, the hospital is required to give each patient a copy of the Patient Bill of Rights. This usually provides the contact information for a Patient Advocate.

Patient Advocates sometimes stop by your room to introduce themselves and check on how your hospital stay is going. You can also contact them directly to discuss your concerns, or request that they come by and see you. Patients often ask for Patient Advocate help out of frustration or needing assistance. This may include getting a ride home from the hospital or having a hospital bill explained. It can also include concerns about medical treatment, such as possibly receiving the wrong medication, being discharged too soon or staff not washing their hands properly.

Feel free to speak to your Patient Advocate. They will listen to your concerns, respond to a complaint, explain hospital policies and procedures, assist you in finding community services, provide information on payment coverage or discuss a concern between you and your medical team. The Patient Advocate goal is to resolve your concern during your hospital stay so that you can get well!