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Do I need a patient care advocate?

Patient Care Advocates was established because of a need identified by patients I have cared for who have experienced difficulty navigating their way through what has become a maze of a healthcare system. My name is Denise Rissell and I have been a professional Registered Nurse for 29 years.

One of my most important roles as a Registered Nurse is to be an advocate, specifically looking out for the best interest of those under my care. Through patient advocacy and care management, I have been able to assist patients and families through difficult times in their lives, offering comprehensive support, research into disease processes to aid in understanding or confirming a diagnosis and the comfort of knowing that you have a true professional ally in the healthcare field.

In today's managed care environment something got lost, specifically providing personalized patient care. Many patients report feeling treated as if they are a number and not a person in need of compassion and individualized competent care. I believe each person enters the medical system with a unique set of symptoms and deserves to be treated as a whole and not as an ID number with complaints and symptoms in search of another pill.

My experiences include employment as a Director of several Home Health Agencies, Nursing Home Supervisor, Hospice counseling and volunteer instructor, Charge Nurse at a Veterans Hospital, Hospital Utilization Review (Medical Record Review) Coordinator and Lyme Disease Nurse Advocate. Clinically I have experience in Medicine/ Surgery, Telemetry (Cardiac), Orthopedics, Rehabilitation, Emergency, Nursing Home, Home Health and Hospice.

Key features that make the services offered through Patient Care Advocates unique-

* Services are provided by a Registered Nurse. As a Registered Nurse, I am a licensed and insured professional who is trained to assess a patient's physical condition. If an older person is suffering mental decline, I want to know that all medical causes have been ruled out before assuming that the changes are just attributed to "getting old." I understand what your medical records say and can help you understand it too. I can explain the tests and care you have received and explain your physicians treatment plans or options. Patients can feel confident that I am current on the latest medications and standards of practice for their particular disease.

* When needed, I can accompany patients to their doctor's appointments to ensure that questions are answered and that appropriate and timely care is provided. I seek to offer my patients confidence that they are receiving the best possible care for their particular illness. My role is to work with the patient, their family and the interdisciplinary team to ensure the best possible care is being offered and provided.

* I can assist families to evaluate nursing homes for their loved ones. My experience working in a variety of nursing homes gives those seeking placement for their loved ones peace of mind that they have made an informed care decision.

* I take my responsibility very seriously and personally care for each patient who has put their trust in me with compassion and respect.

* I am insured for professional liability and care management services and an approved member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the Patient Advocates Foundation.

* References available.

Member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

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