NShore Patient Advocates, LLC
150 S. Wacker, Ste 2400, Chicago, IL 60606
info@northshorern.com  ·  312-788-2640

Questions & Answers

Do nurse advocates have permission to work in any hospital with their clients?

Since RN Patient Advocates are consultants and do not practice nursing care within the confines of various hospitals, we do not impact their liability. When we seek permission to collaborate with health care workers at the hospital, a copy of a privacy release form (HIPAA) is presented to the hospital, which gives permission to discuss the patient’s care and treatment with our staff. Most hospitals and physicians like working with RNPA’s because we save them time, help reduce medical error through improved communication and spend time with the patient and family explaining the plan more thoroughly than they have time to. We save them money, time, and help augment what they are doing to help bring about healing for their patient. Since this is a new field, we generally make introductions and explain our role the first time we work in a hospital so they will know we are there. They generally appreciate the fact that we notify them promptly if any problems arise that they should be aware of. We also need to understand any limitations that they may request while we are their guest.

Is NSPA accredited as a health care organization?

No. We are a consulting firm and the field of Patient Advocacy is still too new to have any national accreditation. We are premier members of Advoconnection and RN Patient Advocates, both of which are national leaders in the field of Advocacy. Our president, Teri Dreher, received her advocacy certification through a formal training program offered by RN Patient Advocates, in conjunction with the University of Arizona School of Nursing. We believe that nurse advocates who have taken this training program will be grandfathered in to any national accreditation when it becomes available within the next 5-10 years. Right now, any RN can call herself an advocate, but it is important to research her qualifications before hiring her/him. Experience, education, specific skills and temperament are all important in choosing which advocate is right for you.

How available is my personal nurse advocate if I have to be hospitalized?

After our initial evaluation and a review of your medical records is complete and a contract is completed, we are available for emergencies 24 hours per day. If your nurse is not available for a specific reason (illness, vacation, being engaged with another client issue), she will provide a replacement in her absence who can address immediate needs. You may contact your advocate for questions by phone in between regular visits. Only phone calls in excess of 15 minutes will be billed as a routine.

Are there certain things that NSPA is unable to do?

Yes. We do not diagnose, treat or prescribe in any manner. We do not perform personal care or treatments prescribed by your physician. We do not get involved in legal disagreements, and are not certified legal nurse consultants. We do not impose our will on our clients regarding treatment, hiring physicians or showing favor to any particular health institution. We believe strongly that our clients are at the center of the health care team and will help you find alternatives if you are not satisfied with your current plan of care.

How many clients does each North Shore Patient Advocate take care of at one time?

Generally, no more than 5-6 clients are carried by each nurse at one time, though it varies widely with the acuity of our clients. If a client is hospitalized, we can rarely care for more than one or two people at one time and give adequate attention to the special needs involved. Each client is unique and services are provided in a very specific manner, according to the wishes of our clients.

How do I know if I need the services of a professional nurse advocate?

If your health care situation is complex, confusing, or you feel unsafe or need help but are unsure of what kind of help you need, call our office for a free 30 minute consultation. We will be honest with you and tell you right away if we can or cannot help your situation. If you would like to hire us, we can meet with you in person and develop a formal relationship that will be needed to pursue further investigation. No pressure is ever exerted to contract our services, as we limit the number of clients we will serve so that we are able to provide premium quality services to a limited number of people.

Are your services covered by my insurance?

Probably not, though they soon should be. It is a fairly new field and it will take time for insurance companies and hospitals to recognize the cost savings and reduction in medical error that come with patients having a professional nurse advocate. We are considered consultants, though we do carry full coverage of nursing liability insurance. We don’t practice hands on care that insurance companies currently use to qualify for payment of services. We will be happy to discuss a payment plan specific to your needs. Call or email for package rates and hourly fees.

Will my doctor or the hospital be offended if I bring a professional advocate into the hospital with me?

Doubtful. After all, most health care practitioners today understand that the health care system in America is broken. THEY would advocate on their family’s behalf if they entered the hospital, so why shouldn’t you also have that benefit? We are specially trained in positive collaborative techniques to help you achieve the best results. Most of our referrals come from past clients or physicians who recognize when their patients need extra help. EVERYONE wants better health outcomes, but unfortunately, the American health system is getting more dangerous, not safer, with estimates of up to a 20-30% chance of adverse medical events for every patient who enters a hospital today. We must protect our vulnerable Clients. Having an Advocate saves lives!

What makes my North Shore Patient Advocate different from those I meet in the hospital or employed by my insurance company?

Follow the money. Hospital advocates are there to make the patients happy and to help prevent the hospital from being sued. Insurance advocates are there to save their company money and improve their company’s reputation. They cannot possibly know your health situation completely by phone communication only. Our only focus is on you: preventing medical error and protecting your rights. We work exclusively for you. You will see the difference immediately in how we interact with the system on your behalf.