SAFE! … or Maybe Not?

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Safety has been on my mind this week. It’s one of those concepts that, when related to patient advocacy and care management, can be applied in so many ways, with not so many easy answers.

What kind of safety?  Physical safety, of course.  AND financial safety.

Whose safety?  Your clients’ safety, of course.  AND yours.

The questions aren’t so much about what is safe, or what isn’t.  The questions are about judgment, timing, and consequences, and recognizing safety issues when the problems are obvious – vs – those times that are less obvious that we might miss all together – and what will happen if we aren’t paying attention.

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They’re Not Us. We’re Not Them. The Difference Is Defined by Consequences.

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Those of us who stay on top of patient advocacy-related news got a jolt from this headline, “Patient Advocacy Groups Rake In Donations From Pharma.” Just the jolt itself suggests that a few clarifications need to be made about our work as independent, private patient advocates.

This is a topic I have written about several times in the past, but because it has big ripple effects, and because some of the people you connect with may be confused, you’ll need to clarify for them, so it bears repeating.

It’s about allegiance. And it’s classified in the same sphere of conversations and objections as these:

But the hospital has a patient advocate and I can talk to her for free. So why should I pay you?

I got a flyer in the mail from my insurance company and they offered a patient advocate to help me for free! So why should I pay you?

Anyone who has begun marketing a private advocacy practice has heard these sorts of objections. Like all roadblocks found in the healthcare system, I’m going to suggest you walk through the right answers with them, because it applies in all cases.

This is the way to overcome their objections.

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Mr. Pareto, Mr. Juran, Mr. Koch, Garden Peas, and Your Care Management Practice

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Chances are you’ve never heard of the three gentlemen named in today’s post title: Vilfredo Pareto, Joseph Juran, or Richard Koch.

Nor can you imagine how they – and garden peas – relate to advocacy.

Yet, the principle they have in common affects your work and ability to succeed, especially in the early days of your practice building. Unfortunately, most newly minted advocates not only don’t realize that, but they ignore it – at their peril.

So what principle am I talking about?

This post is intended to light a fire under you if who can’t figure out why you aren’t succeeding in practice despite the fact that you know you are a great advocate. Your excellent advocacy abilities may be getting in the way of your success if you think you can rest on them alone.

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My Person! My People! Building Partnerships, Expanding Your Practice

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Are you a TV watcher?  I am. Big time. I love TV.  And because of that, more often than I care to admit, I draw inspiration from TV shows and characters. (As a side confession here, we’ve been binge-watching The West Wing, and have found that comparing it to today’s presidential politics is like marrying whiplash to an out-of-body experience. Right? But I digress….)

Today we’re going to draw inspiration from three very different, very diverse TV personalities or characters:  weatherman Al Roker from the Today Show, Elmo from Sesame Street, and Meredith Gray of Gray’s Anatomy.

Stay tuned… we’ll return to them in a moment after a word from…

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What Do You Believe? Why? A Marketing Proposition

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What do you do for a living? What sort of business do you run?

That’s a classic business question, and those who understand marketing and PR, and have been in business during the last decade, might respond to the questions with their “elevator pitch.”

If you’re not familiar with that term “elevator pitch”, you should be. An elevator pitch is a 10-20 second (yes, second!) overview of your business, so-named because you should be able to deliver it to a fellow passenger in the time it takes you to share an elevator ride to the top floor of a not-very-tall building.

I’m the founder and CEO of Jane’s Advocacy Services in Terre Haute. We provide health care support and navigation services for older patients who need someone to hold their hands. Unlike hospital patient advocates or social workers, we can be there 24/7, at home or in the hospital. We provide peace of mind to our clients and their concerned adult children.

Thing is – elevator pitches are just so 2008! They may still have their place but they have mostly been replaced…

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