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Hospital patients need an advocate at their side to avoid medical errors

The Washington Post, April 30, 2013
Wanted: an advocate for a hospital patient. Long hours, no pay. Must be articulate, assertive, able to ask tough questions and stay cool under pressure. Blood relative or close friend preferred. Knowledge about the health-care system a plus. It has become an unwritten rule of hospital care that patients should always have a friend or family member by their bedside to make sure they're getting the right care and to be on the lookout for medical errors. But while there are some professional advocates out there and some organizations that offer training for family members, most people learn on the job, so to speak.