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

The NSPA Blog

First, the good news…..

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Posted on April 1st, 2012 by Teri Dreher, under Patient Advocacy, Take Charge

The good news is that Americans are living longer and death rates are dropping, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. Americans are living longer: average life expectancy for 2010 is listed at 78.7 years. While heart disease and cancer remain the nation’s leading killers (47% of deaths in 2010) death rates here are also declining.

The bad news is that age related illnesses such as chronic respiratory disease, strokes, hypertension, diabetes, sepsis, liver disease, Altzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are growing in prominence, making quality of life a challenge for many of our older adults. Add to this the epidemic of smoking, obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise and the ‘golden years’ are becoming something very different what many had hoped for as they persevered through the working years.

Another very real cause for concern is the current state of safety in many American hospitals, as well as spiraling health care costs. Recent studies show that as many as 98,000 people die needlessly each year from medical errors that occur in hospitals, making medical error the fifth leading cause of death in our country: that is more than the combined deaths from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer and AIDS. The Institute of Medicine is now spearheading an initiative to improve the quality of care in US hospitals, and improve safety margins. Find out more here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/9728.html (To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System).

What can you do to ensure a greater safety margin for yourself and your family when going into the hospital today? Mostly, take an active role in decisions affecting your care: speak up, ask questions and take along a family member to be an extra set of eyes and ears for you. Being ill affects your ability to advocate for yourself on a variety of levels, so if the situation is complex, confusing or if you just have a feeling that something is not quite right, trust your instincts and ask for help. Professional nurse advocates are one answer. Do the research and get the answers you need to make wise health care decisions.

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

For a no-cost 30 minute initial consultation, please call 847-612-6684 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.