Medical guidance - making the journey better
Medical guidance – making the journey better
Sometime it comes out of the blue, sometimes the new come after a long period of uncertainty and nerve-racking waiting; however it is, the moment a patient gets medical diagnosis of a new illness, his/her life is no longer the way it was, and he/she is required to embark on a new journey fighting their illness. That patient came out of the doctor's office burdened with new and confusing medical terms and with names of tests, drugs and treatments that he/she has never encountered before. Now they must face not only the new disease, but also great confusion. They do not always know who to turn to, what to do first and what next, which expert will know to provide them with the correct response, which treatment they are entitle to and where. Many times, they will also be dealing with a financial challenge, and will have to find resources for many and unexpected expenses.
In order for a patient to succeed in overcoming all the obstacles before him/her and achieve better coping with their illness, they require guidance, someone to learn about the patient's complete medical background, understand their needs and urgency, be familiar with the array of available choices and guide him/her to the best and most accurate response for him/her. This is in fact the medical guidance and accompaniment we provide here at Lema'anchem – Maflee La'asot.
The purpose of the medical guidance is to rid the patient of the heavy burden involved in coping with the disease, run the required communication with the various entities such as physicians, HMOs and hospitals, bridge between them and the patient and his or her family, guide the patient in their next moves and accompany them throughout the journey.
Staying on top of things
In order to provide the most accurate response, the medical counselor must be thoroughly familiar with the medical system, maintain constant relations with the hospitals and HMOs, know the most up-to-date technologies, study the physicians working in Israel and worldwide in countless specialties, complex as they may be, and in fact coordinate the patient's needs with the available treatment options.
A medical counselor who has close ties to the main actors in the health system and recruits the best experts can synchronize different entities for the benefit of the patient's care. For example, when dealing with a complex case, requiring the opinion of various experts, the medical counselor will organize brainstorming between several experts to look for the most suitable solution. A medical counselor can create special collaborations for the benefit of the patient. For example, if a patient requires surgery that is considered rare in Israel, while another country has a medical center specializing in such surgeries, the medical counselor would know to refer the patient to that hospital to ensure the best care for the patient. In different cases, a second opinion is able to prevent an unnecessary procedure, as current studies show that 30% of surgeries performed worldwide are unnecessary. When a patient gets one opinion from a physician recommending surgery, but two or three other physicians believe surgery is not in place, the patient is spared a complicated procedure.
A more efficient process
When patients cope with medical treatment by themselves, they will probably rely on the information from their doctor or information they receive from non-qualified sources such as the internet or recommendations from friends. They will schedule an appointment to see a specialist who is considered an authority and wait for months, without knowing that there are other, lesser known physicians who have extensive experience and can see them in a few days, or that another HMO has a specialist who is more suitable than the one they reached through their own HMO. They will not know the available technologies, and, above all, will not have anyone to make sure they really are getting the best care, someone to keep in close contact with them and their family throughout the treatment, speak to the treating physician for updates and make sure the attitude towards them is appropriate and kind.
The medical guidance allows patients to move through the journey ahead of them more efficiently, easily and pleasantly and arrive at the most appropriate response. In Lema'anchem – Maflee La'asot, we provide the medical guidance at no cost, and with the help of authoritative expert physicians from Israel and around the world who contribute their professional abilities, on a completely voluntary basis.
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A collaboration between Lema'anchem organization and the University of Ariel