We privately paid, independent, professional patient advocates “tend to be older, white, female, more highly educated, and have other medical training or past careers in related professions.”
…. or at least that is one conclusion drawn by the surveyors — those who built, issued and analyzed the first National Health and Patient Advocate Survey.*
Both private, self-employed advocates, and employed advocates (hospitals, insurers, employers), were surveyed. Whether or not you were one of the folks who took the survey, if you have any interest in patient or health advocacy as a profession, you’ll be interested in the results. They were issued June 30 – you can download the report from here.
But that’s not the best news from the results… The best news is…
That the profession of private, professional, health and patient advocacy, care management, and navigation services is growing in all the best ways a new profession can grow.
Among the key findings of the survey:
- The profession of health and patient advocacy is a viable choice, with independent and employed advocates making enough money and finding enough job satisfaction to continue doing the work they do for patients.
- Advocates reported that they are highly satisfied with the work.
- Advocates are performing dozens of non-medical services for their patient-clients, improving both the care and the cost details of the healthcare journey.
- There is no one, specific path to a career in advocacy. Advocacy work is being performed by professionals with various backgrounds, education and experiences.
- Advocates are optimistic that the field of advocacy will grow in the next five years.
For those of us who have lived and breathed this new advocacy profession for the past many years, this is all wonderful news! It’s an affirmation that we are on the right track, that patients and their families are finding the help they seek, and that the advocates providing them with services are happy and thriving.
Take a few moments to download the results. Then take a look and see what you see among the data and conclusions.
And if you’d like to participate next year? We plan to issue the 2016 survey in November. Provide your email address and we’ll notify you when it’s available.
*The surveyors: Robin Shapiro and Beth Droppert of WASHAA and me 🙂 Trisha Torrey, APHA. With thanks for the support of nine advocacy organizations.