The term “patient advocate” is often associated with care coordination and navigating patients through complex treatment paths. And those roles are certainly important.
But advocates on the other side, in the research sector, are just as important for kick-starting treatment advances, as highlighted in a report from U.S. News & World Report.
The article emphasizes the difference between patient advocates on the clinical side and those on the research side. Understanding the impacts of treatment and clinical trials helps provide the most patient-friendly advances in treatment that also deliver the greatest outcomes:
Patient advocates can take a number of forms, but here the focus is primarily on breast cancer survivors who get involved by collaborating with scientific researchers to provide input about the patient experience during the design or implementation of a study or trial. Several research centers around the country now have patient advocacy programs that support and guide the scientists researching new treatments for breast cancer.
One of the most common areas of patient advocacy is in breast cancer treatment. One such organization that is driving the focus on patient advocacy in research is the Georgetown Lombardi Breast Cancer Patient Advocacy Committee (GLBCPAC) at Georgetown University Medical Center. The Committee was founded in 2011, aligning with the growing interest in value-based care and part of a trend including programs at the University of Michigan and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Whether it’s physicians, nurses, educators or lobbyists, patient advocacy is crucial to ensuring that patients not only achieve their outcome goals, but also that they have the opportunity to do so. You can read the full story here.