This blog series will focus on Patient Advocate Nurses (PAN). We’ll explore how PANs came to be, why their role is so important, and how communications software can support them and enhance the patient experience.
In the 1930s, about 40 percent of doctor-patient visits in the United States occurred in patient homes. Better known as “house calls” this kind of healthcare accounted for only 0.6 percent of healthcare visits by 1980.
As healthcare became institutionalized and medical staff were asked to improve patient turnaround times, some of the relationship-building experiences that were part of routine care and patient advocacy were lost.
In response to this crucial gap in care, a movement to establish a liaison between patients and hospitals began in the 1970s. During this time the Association of Patient Service Representatives was formed, and a model of the Patient Bill of Rights was established. Other societies took root and one became today’s Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy (SHCA).
There can be hundreds of different jobs within a hospital system, and thanks to patient advocacy programs, professionals with backgrounds in counseling, nursing, social work, and others are providing enhanced services to patients with an extra focus on patient advocacy.