In ever greater numbers, health-care professionals seeking a fresh start after grueling careers are pursuing an entrepreneurial route: the fast-growing field of private patient advocacy.
In addition to their skills as clinicians and advocates, though, these professionals need the knowledge to build a successful patient advocacy business. Now, a leading figure in the patient advocacy movement is sharing the secrets of her success through a three-month virtual course open to health-care professionals around the country.
“Nurses, social workers and case managers already know how to advocate and navigate the system,” says Teri Dreher, RN, the driving force behind the Patient Advocate entrepreneur course. “What they don’t know is how to start and grow an advocacy company.”
The course is open to any health-care professional with a strong clinical background who is tired and stressed, but still wants to use their valuable experience to help patients.
Ten years ago, Dreher was one of those professionals. After 30 years of critical care nursing, she became fed up with the health care system, watching in dismay as profits took priority over patients.
In 2011, following training, she opened NShore Patient Advocates, (www.NorthShoreRN.com), one of the first Chicago advocacy companies, and now the largest. An active voice in her fledgling industry, she helped establish best practices that are standard today, earning her the highest honor bestowed by the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, one of the industry’s professional associations.
Those best practices — and the lessons Dreher learned along the way — set Nurse Advocate Entrepreneur (www.NurseAdvocateEntrepreneur.com) apart from more theoretical curriculums. The three-month online course includes 13 hours of video training, book and study guide, weekly live meetings with fellow students, and one-on-one mentoring.
Business-focused topics include:
• A survey of the advocacy landscape, mission and values
• How to develop your personal brand
• Intake best practices, including required legal forms
• Developing a 60-second elevator pitch
• How to get your name out and build a referral network
• Best practices when working with hospitals and long-term care facilities
• Navigating insurance and public benefits
Dreher’s goal is to get qualified patient advocates into the field quickly, so they can help meet the escalating demand. Today, even leading health care systems like Johns Hopkins assert that every patient needs a health care advocate.
“Right now, patient advocates can be counted in the hundreds, not the thousands,” says Dreher. “There is more demand from patients than the industry can meet.”
The training quickly pays for itself. Students who pass a final exam receive 20 continuing education units — and are ready to start earning between $125 to $250 an hour, the going rate for private patient advocates.
Classes are offered on a flexible schedule to accommodate working professionals. The three-month “Full Advocacy” program, for those ready to start a business, has limited enrollment, providing opportunities for one-on-one mentoring. An even more flexible “beginner program” is aimed at those contemplating a change.
“We love helping patients but are exhausted with the system,” says Dreher, who also wrote Patient Advocacy Matters, available on Amazon. “Patient advocacy allows nurses and other health-care professionals to do the things they love without the downside, while finally getting paid what they’re really worth.”
For more information, visit the website, www.NurseAdvocateEntrepreneur.com. You can also call 312-788-2640 or send an email to [email protected]eadvocateentrepreneur.com
To interview Teri Dreher, contact Lekas & Levine PR at 847-327-9530 or [email protected]
Company Name: NShore Patient Advocates
Contact Person: Teri Dreher, RN
Email: Send Email
Address:150 S. Wacker Dr.
State: IL 60606
Country: United States