A healthcare leader can implement many strategies to advocate for patients and improve health outcomes. For instance, they can focus on improving safeguarding to decrease potential risks, which involves ensuring proper medical error tracking and preventing staff misconduct (Abbasinia et al., 2019). Another strategy is to enhance apprising by making it mandatory to inform patients about alternatives and the discharge program (Abbasinia et al., 2019). Mediating is also an important approach because patients may fear expressing themselves or be unable to do it properly. Thus, a leader should establish a liaison between the stakeholders, serve as a patient’s voice, and share their values and preferences with the staff to avoid such practices that would hurt them (Abbasinia et al., 2019). However, if a patient is incompetent in judgment, health specialists may have to override those to make care provisions beneficial rather than harmful (Abbasinia et al., 2019). Lastly, a leader has an option to champion social justice by guaranteeing better healthcare access and guiding people to the necessary services (Abbasinia et al., 2019). Although each strategy can be implemented separately, combining all of them may lead to major positive change.
Another set of advocacy strategies involves removing barriers to performing it within the staff. For instance, one should review the policies regulating an organization’s culture and revise the points that prevent nurses from advocating for their patients (Nsiah et al., 2019). A leader may co-develop an educational course for the employees to teach them the importance of patient advocacy and reassure the staff that no repercussions will follow for upholding it (Nsiah et al., 2019). Additionally, one can offer informal support to nurses who have self-esteem issues and feel unfit to vouch for patients (Nsiah et al., 2019). Overall, advocacy strategies can focus on removing various barriers and making employees feel confident about their job.
As for my personal experience, I attempted to promote social justice as a leader to help underinsured patients. I told the staff to either suggest an affordable alternative within the organization or guide them to other clinics with similar options. The former was still expensive, but an employee refused to perform the latter, citing competition. The patients left dissatisfied, but I should have taken the responsibility and consulted them myself.
Abbasinia, M., Ahmadi, F., & Kazemnejad, A. (2019). Patient advocacy in nursing: A concept analysis. Nursing Ethics, 27(1), 141-151. Web.
Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. P. K. (2019). Barriers to practicing patient advocacy in healthcare setting. NursingOpen, 7(2), 650-659. Web.