Healthcare Proxy Need More Respect Or Why Do Medical Staff Ignore Them?

Doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, nurse, hospital administrators and all others I left out in the medical field, need to understand what a healthcare proxy and/or medical representative (wordage per state) is, what it represents, as well as the legal and ethical implications when ignored.  I say this because, my experience as a patient advocate…

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An Advocate Learns A Lesson Traveling With Mom

Being a patient advocate, I should have been smarter about traveling with my 88 year old mother from Boston to Santa Fe, NM.  My mother lives independently, is quite active and cognitively competent.  She has her senior moments but that is more about where she left her keys. (Yes! she is still driving to my…

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Invoking The Healthcare Proxy

Two questions I get asked regularly is, who can invoke the healthcare proxy and when should it occur?  I get these questions most frequently from adult children of elderly parents.  The question is asked because they have noticed a parent is having cognitive changes or increased confusion about medications or safety issues in the home.…

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Being Safe At The Emergency Room

I spent part of the other night with a client and his wife at the local ER.  His primary care doctor had sent him there after hours.  My client’s wife and caregiver had thought she could handle it herself but on the follow up call, she was in distress.  My client was having a difficult…

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Healthcare Proxy: Getting It Right

The healthcare proxy is the legal document authorized by the state allowing the patient to chose who will make medical decisions when incapacitated.  It is a powerful document.  Most people select a spouse or partner for this role with the understanding that your wishes have been discussed and understood. As an advocate, I have witnessed…

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Another Made Up HIPAA Barrier:Will It Ever End?

I am, once again, befuddled by the obstacles institutions create to withhold medical records.  Today, I experienced  the absolute nonsense of a nursing home to block handing over medical notes to a family member who is the designated healthcare proxy. The story goes like this.  The daughter, who is the healthcare proxy, over a month…

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