Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Blog by Stuart Heaslet: Right Care, Right Now - How to Be a Powerful Patient Advocate for a Loved One

This very useful book is an important guide for anyone dealing with a family member in the healthcare system:

Right Care, Right Now - How to Be a Powerful Patient Advocate for a Loved One 
Stuart Heaslet

“Right Care, Right Now” was researched and written for those who have little, if any, experience managing the medical affairs of a family member. It is an easy-to-read reference that will help a patient advocate improve the odds of a patient's recovery in one of the most complex medical bureaucracies on the planet.
Every year more than 200,000 deaths in the United States result from doctor and hospital errors. They happen because of distractions, shift changes, miscommunication, or natural human mistakes. Every day there are hundreds or thousands of examples of misdiagnosis, wrong prescriptions and dosages, unnecessary surgery, and hospital infections, nearly all of which could be prevented with quality and procedural control measures.

This is why patient advocates are so important. They may be a spouse or a relative or a friend, and they have the patient's best interests at heart.

Included in “Right Care, Right Now” is information that can help an advocate assist doctors, nurses and hospitals so that they can do a better job:
  • How to avoid the top ten mistakes made by most health advocates.
  • How to research medical treatment options (and why you shouldn't rely on Google).
  • How to find the best doctors, surgeons and hospitals, and which questions you should ask before you hire them.
  • How to do background checks on doctors and hospitals.
  • Learn when teaching hospitals tend to make the most mistakes.
  • When and how to fire a doctor.
  • Why second and third opinions matter.
  • How to get get the best second and third medical opinions, and why it is often best NOT to get them from colleagues of the primary care physician.
  • How to research and source the best and most economical medications.
  • How to work with Medicare and private insurance companies, and deal with excessive charges and billings.
  • How to appeal insurance denials of insurance coverage.
  • How to establish your legal and practical role as a patient advocate, or outsource to a professional or volunteer advocate.
“Right Care, Right Now” is heavily linked to essential research, physician, hospital, drug and government insurance websites.

Title: Right Care, Right Now - How to Be a Powerful Patient Advocate for a Loved One
236 pages (paperback)
Copyright ©2012 by Stuart D. Heaslet
ISBN 978-1-938148-02-6 (Paperback)
ISBN 978-1-938148-04-0 (eBook)
ISBN 978-1-938148-05-7 (eBook)

From the author:
My father’s hospital experiences, and his death, are the two reasons I wrote this book. At the time of my father's illness I was a businessman and project manager working mostly overseas.

But 10 years ago at 2:09 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, my bedside phone blasted me into half-consciousness. It was from a man who said he was a neurosurgeon, and that he was trying to treat my father who had just had a stroke.

By the time the call was over I had given a man I didn't know the authority to perform emergency surgery to relieve a severe buildup of fluid in my my father's skull.

I had no idea what I was going to do, but four hours later I found myself beginning a series of flights to Los Angeles to be with the one man, an artist and a craftsman, who had loved me since the day I was born.

I wish I had read a book like this back then, when my father needed me the most. 

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