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Respond to the following 

What is the relationship between patient advocacy and controlling costs? Can you do both? Support your position by citing professional literature or examples from your experience.

One of our main responsibilities as a nurse is to advocate for our patients; it is a role that is discussed throughout nursing school along with the importance of supporting our patients. As nurses we can be both patient advocate and help control costs. Nurses spend more time with patients, so we are more likely to hear about issues involving the inability to pay for prescription medications, which would prompt us a nurse to submit a case management consult. This type of issue could be as simple as having a lower cost generic version of the medication, or perhaps reaching out to the doctor to see if another lower cost medication could work in place of the more expensive one.

Making sure to help educate patients with regards to chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes will help prevent unnecessary and costly emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions, which cost approximately $41 billion every year (Cram et al., 2022). Suggesting a nutrition consult for a patient with a new diagnosis of diabetes will also help with preventable problems. Nurses can also advocate for patients when providers order an array of unnecessary tests and talking to patients about advocating for themselves and asking questions about tests that are ordered is a good way of empowering our patients, while helping to control costs. Studies show that patient education improves patient outcomes and promotes quality of life and is important in achieving positive health outcomes (Wittink & Oosterhaven, 2018) 

The better care we provide for our patients while hospitalized, the better chance we give them once they go home. Although the financial benefit may not happen right away, the decrease in future admissions will definitely make a cost-effective difference (Zimmerman, 2018). The education we provide to our patients and how we provide it is crucial to their compliance. We must provide information in a way that our patients can understand and apply to their daily lives. In that aspect, patient advocacy and cutting costs definitely go hand-in-hand.

Everyone: What are other examples such as this one that helps explain how advocacy helps control healthcare costs?

Reference: Zimmerman, B. (2018). How Advocate Improved Patient Care and Reduced Costs by addressing malnutrition. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/how-advocate…