Many thanks to KevinMD.com for publishing my latest article, “Making time for patient advocacy is more important now than ever,” co-authored with Bonnie Friedman, The Hospital Warrior. KevinMD.com is a widely read website aimed at medical professionals.  Bonnie and I discuss the tragic situation COVID-19 has created for many vulnerable patients whose family members and close friends are banned from their hospital rooms due safety concerns for visitors, staff and patients.

Without a personal advocate present at the patient’s bedside, care teams may lack essential medical data. For the highest quality of care and best chance for recovery, care teams must have all relevant details of the patient’s medical history and individual needs, some of which may only be provided by family or a close friend.

When nursing staff are stretched thin and frightened patients need comfort the most, loved ones can’t be there to help with words of comfort, to help a wobbly patient safely make it to the toilet, or offer the vigilance it takes to prevent many medical errors.

Check out and share our article for suggestions on how primary care physicians, hospital care teams and family advocates can help improve the situation for hospitalized patients during this pandemic, and beyond.

About the Author

Author, Speaker, Hospitalization Expert, Researcher

Author and speaker Sara L. Merwin MPH received her Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and has worked as a clinical researcher at Northwell Health System and Montefiore Medical Center. She has held faculty appointments at Zucker Hofstra School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her career and research focus includes patient and professional education and communication.