Coming soon: “Becoming an Informed Consumer Advocate When Using the Healthcare System” at OLLI, UNCA, Asheville, NC

I will be teaching this eight week course, “Becoming an Informed Consumer Advocate When Using the Healthcare System” to seniors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNCA in March, 2019.  This course will discuss how to advocate for self, family or loved ones in pre-hospitalization settings, hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, facilities, palliative care and hospice settings. We will identify 50 Golden Eggs of Advocating Wisdom in pre-acute care, acute care and post-acute care settings in finding the care and support you need in navigating the healthcare system.

Do you Know the Top 6 questions you should ask your Physician in an Office Appointment?


It is important to plan and prepare for your next Physician Appointment with an agenda that includes your top 6 questions.   Go to your MD Appointment with a friend or family member.  A loved one can take notes and remind you about the issues you want discussed.

  1. Open your conversation with your most important question for your physician.  An average Physician office visit lasts between 8 and 13 minutes.  Do not wait until the end of your MD visit to ask your most important question as your MD will already be distracted with visiting the next patient in the busy office environment.
  2. Tell the Whole Truth (fear of falling, substance or alcohol abuse, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness).
  3. Explain what you can afford.   Most Doctors do not have a clue about out-of-pocket expenses, prescriptions and lab tests.
  4. I am not sure what to ask. How is my lab work, and the results of my physical examination? What problems do you see?
  5. Will you please let me repeat your key recommendations today? I want to make sure I understand the takeaways from today’s appointment.
  6. Who do I call in your office for further questions after today’s appointment?

Rehearse Before You go – Write a Script if you are uncomfortable or embarrassed about topics.  

Please call Karen at 828-778-8882 if you need further assistance with RN Patient Advocacy questions.

Obtaining and Maintaining Your Medical Records Is Important to Your Health

Challenges to Managing Medical Records

Many patients I see in multiple healthcare settings are overwhelmed and confused about how to access their medical records. Patients must request, obtain and maintain copies of their own medical records to assure the accuracy and currency of their information, identify potential errors and mistakes, and track, manage and participate in their own health care (Reports, C. (2018, February 12). Keeping track of medical records is key to protecting your health. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from Consumer Reports in The Washington Post).