Kenner has a new Patient Advocate, Ms. Theresa Scott. You might remember her from Medical Records where she has worked for the past six years, the last two of which were as the Records Room Supervisor.
A Patient Advocate is a professional who works with other healthcare team members to better coordinate a patient’s care. The Patient Advocate help patients solve issues with one’s care.
In addition to the PA role, she is also the new risk manager. A risk manager, in her words, is to reduce any possible patient safety issues through continual assessment of potential medico-legal, financial, or healthcare risks.
Scott states she is nervous but excited for this opportunity because she has a degree in healthcare administration, and her concentration was on administration as well as patient advocacy.
Being a patient advocate can be challenging, but she is looking forward to learning the position.
“I want to finish off where our last Advocate did. I want to continue to promote patient and employee satisfaction,” said Scott. “Advocacy goes hand-and-hand with team collaboration. That is something I want to work on here. The transition of patients from department to department, at times, is broken. I think we come together and work on that.”
At its core, patient advocacy is about communication and ensuring that there is shared understanding between the patient, facility, and provider.
“COVID has calmed down, and we need to get back to normal even if this is the new normal. Coming together is going to be my biggest challenge,” she explained.
“The biggest hurdle is going to be understanding the job and being able to speak it. I plan to lean on people that know the process. Then come up with solutions to situations that have existed for a while. I will not have a problem asking for help.”
When asked, are you able to help people when they are distressed? The answer is yes.
“The reason I can engage with people because I am calm,” she noted. “Just the demeanor of being calm can diffuse a lot of the situations an advocate encounters. The greatest thing about defusing a problem is not to take it personally. You do not react the way they expect you to act. I want to help understand where the person is coming from to assist them better.
She says that she is a quiet and reserved person in her off time.
“I like anything that protects my peace,” she said, laughing. “I like reading, drawing, and want to get into painting.”
If you need Patient Advocate assistance, Ms. Scott is available by phone at 804-734-9512 or by visiting the Patient Advocate's office in Room B102c, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.