PREPARED PATIENT BLOG

Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

Bonnie Friedman is a professional communicator specializing in patient advocacy, worker safety and health, and related issues. Prior to starting her own business, she served as communications director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and worked at other federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health. She is currently writing a book on how to advocate for a loved one in the hospital. You can follow her on Twitter at @bonniecomm.


What to Do If the Doctor Just Shrugs

Bonnie Friedman | October 27, 2014
As patients we want an answer and a treatment – if not a cure – for what ails us. But sometimes the doctor doesn't know what's wrong, which isn't as rare as we might think. All too often, patients or their families must take charge of their own medical management. Doctors, after all, are human, and some are better diagnosticians than others. Here are some things to do if you or a loved one is struggling with an undiagnosed condition...

How to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections

Bonnie Friedman | July 21, 2014
We go to the hospital to get better, right? But it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes patients become sicker, not because their illnesses are untreatable, but because deadly bugs can overtake a hospital's ecosystem and wreak havoc, especially among the most ill. Not long ago, this happened to my husband...

When an Advocate Becomes a Patient

Bonnie Friedman | April 28, 2014
A recent clumsy mishap at the gym landed me in the emergency department. Lying in the hall, feeling hapless and helpless, I was in no position to make any important health decisions, had they been needed, or to remember anything important that might have been said. Later, I understood on a deeply personal level the need for a patient advocate...

When a Loved One Is Hospitalized

Bonnie Friedman | March 24, 2014
My husband has been in the hospital 14 times over the past 24 years. What I've learned is that my role as advocate is just as important to his recovery as the roles of doctors and the nurses. You may not have a medical degree, but you have intelligence and instincts...