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Advocacy: Create better access

Advocacy: Create better access

Ryan BullockQ. Why is advocacy in health care important?  

A. Advocacy in health care means improving health outcomes for our customers. To achieve these outcomes, we need to bridge the gaps our customers face in understanding the why behind the services they are receiving and helping them navigate the health care system.  

A longstanding problem in the U.S. is health literacy, as nearly nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand health care information and lack the knowledge needed to make appropriate health decisions. Unfortunately, this has been found to have a direct correlation to negative health equity, leaving consumers with formidable roadblocks to achieve positive health outcomes. What’s more, individuals in historically oppressed groups are often less educated in health plans and care choices, increasing their chance for poor health outcomes.  

Despite major recent innovations in health technology to help bridge the gap in health care knowledge, many customers still lack the capacity to navigate these changing workflows. We need more providers to understand the gaps and make necessary changes where barriers to health literacy and overall care exist. Despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities still experience a lower quality of health care.  

To help alleviate these issues, changes need to be made to make processes more efficient and patient-centric. This can be done by: 

  • Understanding how consumers engage in health care and navigate through the system for a variety of conditions 
  • Encouraging the focus and development of ways that ease barriers to access 
  • Creating a culture where team members feel empowered to speak and advocate for change 
  • Collaborating with other providers that play a role in the patient’s health care 
  • Reminding and encouraging patients to leverage health care services 

Advocacy translates to better access. Better access translates to better experiences and leads to better outcomes. Health outcomes all start with advocacy.  

Ryan Bullock is COO at Aeroflow Healthcare. Reach him at [email protected]


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