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Health Advocacy
What is Health Advocacy













































































Health Advocacy Professional Certificate Program and Continuing Educations

  Based on the needs of patients and their families to more successfully access the confusing and difficult healthcare systems the concept of health advocacy is an emerging profession that grows out of a need for well-educated and trained advocates to assist patients and their families in obtaining the best possible healthcare. The Institute of Medicine, in 1999 reported that more than 100,000 people die in hospitals each year from "avoidable accidents". Five years later in 2004 an updated report evidenced some change in the system but much improvement is yet to be realized.

Health advocacy as a growing profession is in need of immediate and competent educational resources to complement existing professions. To meet that need HALO has developed a series of courses that are available through colleges and universities as a certificate program as well as continuing education for professionals.


HALO makes the following courses available through colleges and universities.

  In addition to a hard copy text all courses require a license to access electronic course materials. These materials are essentially test book materials converted to electronic format and are included in the university or college course materials.

Except for the practicum, these sessions are designed for an 8-week format. Different colleges or universities may modify these courses to fit a seminar, workshop or 16-week (semester) format.


Introduction to Health Advocacy
Program Pending . . . Send e-mail for more information.

This course covers the emerging concepts of health advocacy.

  Don't Go There Alone! A Guide to Hospitals for Patients and Their Advocates

Learning Objectives:

  Describe the various current and historical approaches to healthcare and patient advocacy. Define the HALO concept of health advocacy and how it differs from current practices in both philosophy and performance.

  Identify and discuss the key elements of the current healthcare "culture" and how it supports or hinders quality patient care.
  Describe and demonstrate the roles of creative problem solving, negotiation, conflict management and mediation in health advocacy through a case study exercise

  Demonstrate in writing an understanding of the career and professional opportunities that may evolve in health advocacy and how to seize these opportunities

  Explain the legal, ethical, technical, and measurement challenges and responsibilities of health advocacy.

  Facilitate conversations and decision making between healthcare professionals and patients and their families. Demonstrate basic facilitation and communication skills.

Legal Issues for Advocates,

This course helps advocates understand what their legal obligations, restrictions, responsibilities and commitments are. It familiarizes the Health Advocates with current HIPAA regulations, Patient's rights under JCAHO, Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations as well as how to utilize hospital policies and procedures to assist patients and families. This course also familiarizes Health Advocates with confidentiality regulations, living wills, power of attorney, and other legal tools available to patients and how to appropriately connect patients with the proper legal resources.

Learning Objectives:

  Legal issues as they pertain to advocacy.
  What advocates can and cannot do.

  Advance directives, medical power of attorney, and other tools and instruments needed in advocacy.

  Regulations that govern healthcare institutions: JCAHO, HIPAA, AHA, physician and nursing professional organization regulations.

  Other legal issues and processes advocates need to know, such as when to advise a patient to call an attorney.

Ethics and Professionalism in Health Advocacy

Beyond ethics, behaving as a professional requires certain attitudes, standard, judgments and conduct

Learning Objectives
Ethics in Advocacy.

Knowledge and application of the ethical standards of different health professions (e.g. physicians, nurses, etc.) and where they are the same and where they differ or conflict

How to manage these ethical differences as an advocate.

Discussion and analysis of a statement of ethics for health advocates and an in depth study of the behavioral implications.


Practical approaches to decision making, values, morals, ethics and integrity.

How to bridge the gap between legal requirements and conduct and ethical behavior.

How to deal with religious preferences of advocates and the responsibility of not letting the advocate's own personal beliefs interfere with the healthcare wishes of the patient.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of health advocacy

Both theoretical and practical evaluation tools and approaches to setting and measuring advocate and patient goals and objectives.

How to use an online data gathering system, both entering data and using data/knowledge/best practices for advocacy.

The Psychology and Personal Dynamics of Injury and Illness
This course will acquaint students with the stresses and psychological difficulties that patients and their Families may encounter in the course of treatment for illness or injury.

Learning Objectives:

  Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of fear and depression on decision making

Understand the connection between injury or illness and their psychological impact

Identify the advocate's role in helping the patient or family get assistance with psychological problems

Healthcare Systems and how they work

Learning Objectives:

  Demonstrate knowledge of how the healthcare system has evolved and operates.

Demonstrate connections between historical healthcare events and systems and how advocates need to work in the system today.

Comprehend the history, systems theory and practice in order for students to have context for their advocacy role and how it can be compatible with or challenge the system.

Familiarization with medical terminology. This could include an option of medical terminology, or medical terminology could be a separate prerequisite that we could "buy" as a self instructional package to be done online.

Research, synthesize and apply the lessons of the history of healthcare evolution to the application of advocacy processes today.

Creative Problem Solving: Negotiation, Conflict Management, Mediation and Communication
This will be a key skills course and may include Video conferencing or use of video interviews to demonstrate skill sets.

Learning Objectives:

  Demonstrate at least five key problem solving and negotiation tactics as applied to healthcare advocacy.

Know and apply to health advocacy five different techniques of conflict management, negotiation and mediation.

Identify and demonstrate a preferred style of negotiation and conflict management.

Demonstrate personal strengths and challenges in negotiating conflict.

Effectively negotiate or mediate a case study and role play in advocacy situation in healthcare.

Evaluate the strengths and challenges of their own performance in the case study and role play

Care at the End of Life
Health advocates assist patients and families during acute illness of injury, chronic illness and disability, and in the proper time and place, getting appropriate care at the end of life.

Learning Objectives:
Identify and explain the stages of dying as articulated by Kubler-Ross and other theorists.

Discuss the different approaches people take in dealing with life crisis
Discuss popular beliefs about living and dying in America including death statistics and causes of death

Identify and discuss ethical, cultural and religious beliefs about end of life decisions

Identify and discuss the specifics about end of life practical matters, funerals, living wills, power of attorney, etc.

Demonstrate knowledge of child development and children's views of death at different ages

Students will become familiar with the different ethical statements, religious practices and values, legal implications and political aspects of end of life.

Be able to identify issues in pain management including current legal issues and practices in palliative care

Practicum or Internship

Online and regular meetings format (eg., once per week face-to-face for discussions).

The student is supervised/mentored by someone who is a healthcare provider, an instructor, or practicing as an advocate. This student would be responsible for advocating for patients in a variety of settings, such as a hospital, doctor's office, clinic, or nursing home. Each student will compile a case study including research on how advocacy is conducted in these settings and a reflective paper on how the student approached the clients, what the outcomes were, what was learned, and what could be done differently.

Learning Objectives:

  Provide health advocacy for at least three episodes of healthcare for a patient.

Write a paper for each episode of care, identifying the theoretical and philosophical issues involved.

Demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of the three experiences.

Identify strengths and challenges in their experience.

Write a development plan to engage in continuous learning about health advocacy based on identified strengths and needs, including a timeline for implementation.

Contribute to an online survey the key variables from their three experiences.

Demonstrate effective research and application skills about their three cases to gain content knowledge about the specifics of each case (e.g. knowledge of a particular type of cancer).