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Earn Your Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy!

The Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy E-learning program is a comprehensive education program aimed at enhancing training for those involved in the specialized field of hospital patient advocacy. It also stands as an introductory course for those who are interested in entering the field. The program will provide common ground for which all can work together to improve the patient experience.

The goal of the program is to focus on the concepts of hospital patient advocacy and to assist advocates in improving the patient and family experience, which is one of the elements hospitals and others organizations, must meet as a core component of value-based purchasing. In addition, this program will reinforce the role of hospital advocates in ensuring that patients and their families have a safe and empowered in-patient stay.

The e-learning program is open to all who want to learn about this emerging field of hospital patient advocacy. Additionally, the Certificate program can serve as a point of entry for those who wish to work in this dynamic field by providing a course of study that will open you to this important role.

Enroll Today!

Consumers want to have a voice in their care.

Consumers want a way to share concerns while in the hospital or other in-patient setting without fear of recrimination.

Accreditation and legislative bodies have put regulations and standards in place for consumer protection that hospitals and others at the point of care must adhere.

The healthcare industry is complex, fragmented and not completely patient- or family-centered. The Hospital Patient Advocate is the one person dedicated to ensure the patient has someone who they can communicate with to raise concerns and better understand their care so they can make informed decisions.
To date, there is no universal training program, license or certification that unites the field of patient advocacy. As a result, training and development is needed for those currently in the practice and for those interested in entering the field. The Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocate Program exists to fill this void, providing a platform that explains the role of hospital advocates who work with consumers and helping consumers understand how an advocate can assist them in meeting their healthcare needs.

The Program Objectives for the Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy E-learning program are to:

  • Provide an advanced course on the emerging role of patient advocacy.
  • Provide structure to the practice for professionals who want to add this component to their current healthcare practice.
  • Share insights and best practices that advocates can use to assist consumers as they navigate the complex healthcare system.
  • As part of the training program, professionals will gain information and resources that enable them to assist consumers, employers and other stakeholders in understanding the diverse services advocates can provide, either as independent professionals or as part of a larger team.

The Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Program exists so that consumers can benefit from safe, quality, evidence-based care at the right time and in the most appropriate setting.

Upon completion of the training program participants will receive:

  • A Certificate, suitable for framing, that recognizes the completion of the Certificate In Hospital Patient Advocacy Training Program.
  • A logo showing that you have completed the Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy by the Professional Patient Advocate Institute on letterhead or other business materials.
  • The Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy E-learning program consists of nine individual sessions that cover the following areas.


Session 1

Session 1:

Introduction, Current Trends and Overview of the Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy

This session provides an introduction to the world of hospital patient advocacy and the role health care advocates play in enhancing the patient experience.

Additional Learning:

Top Health Industry Issues of 2012: Connecting in Uncertainty was produced from Price Waterhouse Coopers provide insights into the top issues impacting today’s economy, the healthcare system and patient advocates. The report compiles the results of an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults representing a cross-section of the population in terms of insurance status, age, gender, income, and geography. The survey collected data on consumers’ perspectives on the healthcare landscape and preferences related to their healthcare usage. The report will give advocates a well-rounded view of where the industry is today and the opportunities that are open to patient advocates across the continuum.

Session 2

Session 2:

Foundations of Patient Advocacy

Session Two will provide an overview of the foundation of hospital patient advocacy and the challenges advocates face in trying to meet the demands of the diverse populations that make up today’s healthcare system.

Additional Learning:

Today, patient satisfaction ratings, represented by HCAHPS scores, have a direct impact on your facility’s reimbursement rates. Combined with the core quality measures of value-based purchasing, these two elements can mean the loss or gain of real dollars for your facility. Improving HCAHPS: Satisfying Patients – and Your Bottom Line; Learn Strategies to Achieve Optimal Reimbursement Rates is a video that was presented in 2012 as part of the Case In Point Learning Series. As patient advocates have a direct role in ensuring patient and family satisfaction, this video will be a resource that you will want to review as it contains important information that will assist you in your practice.

Session 3

Session 3:

Healthcare Regulations

Session Three reviews major healthcare legislation and regulations that hospital patient advocates must adhere to.

Additional Learning:

Review the document: Individuals and the Affordable Care Act. This document from provides insights for understanding rights and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act. In addition to this document, the entire site is an important resource Hospital Advocates should bookmark for future use.

Session 4

Session 4:

A Process Model:

Session Four provides a process model that allows an organized approach for patient advocacy. Hospital Patient Advocates should have an understanding of this process so that they can assist patients and their family during their transition of care within their specific healthcare environment as well as throughout the healthcare system.

Session 5

Session 5:

Communications Skills

In this session we examine the communications skills hospital patient advocates must master in order to be successful in their role.

Additional Learning:

Communication is oneof the most important elements for improving client satisfaction, compliance and health outcomes. Take time to read Improving Interpersonal Communication Between Health Care Providers and Clients as it provides a base that you can use to improve communication in your practice. This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Cooperative Agreement No. DPE-5992-A-00-0050-00 with the Center for Human Services. The contents are the responsibility of University Research Co., LLC- Center for Human Services and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Session 6

Session 6:

Crisis Planning & Execution

In this session we will explore crisis management, including planning for a crisis, executing the plan and then revising the plan. We will also explore the role of the hospital patient advocate in crisis management.

Additional Learning:

Medical errors in healthcare can have dire outcomes for patients and their loved ones. These errors can also devastate physicians and caregivers and break the vital trust between the organization and its patients and community. The Medical Apology from Frontiers of Health Management Services shares key messages advocates can use to understand how to handle challenges that arise in their practice when medical errors or other mistakes happen to a patient or their family. Permission was obtained to include the supplement in the e-learning program.

Session 7

Session 7:

Grievance & Complaint Management

In this session we will explore the hospital patient and grievance and complaint management process. We will also explore how the hospital patient advocate handles patient grievances and complaints.

Additional Learning:

With the increasing emphasis in the healthcare environment on patient-centered care, seeking and responding to patient feedback are important components of risk management and patient advocacy programs. Patients have the right to file complaints and grievances when they are unsatisfied with the treatment received. Take a minute and read the Executive Summary from a report from ECRI, Managing Patient Grievances and Complaints. The document is reprinted with permission, Copyright 2012, ECRI Institute. To learn more about products and services from ECRI, visit their website at

Session 8

Session 8:

Case Studies

In this session we will analyze some case studies and explore strategies for how the hospital patient advocate can respond to the issues posed.

Additional Learning:

The September Issue of Case In Point, Addressing Culture and Healthcare Disparities Impacting Care Coordination,explores culture, diversity and the impact on patient- and family-centered care. Today, the U.S. Census projects that by 2050, the Hispanic and Asian populations will both triple, the black population will almost double, and the white population will barely hold its own. As the U.S. becomes more ethnically and racially diverse, there is a need for all healthcare professionals to improve their cultural competencies. Knowing how to meet the needs of diverse populations with different values, health beliefs and alternative perspectives about health and wellness is a business imperative for all healthcare professionals.

Session 9

Session 9:

Healthcare Delivery System

In this session we will examine how healthcare is paid for in the U.S. We will look specifically at various insurance lines and health benefit plans that patients advocates will encounter in practice.

Additional Learning:

Secure Successful Healthcare Reimbursement: Know the Insider’s Tips Across Settings.
This special report is intended to provide patient advocates with information that will explain terms and define the major reimbursement systems you may encounter in your practice when working with patients across the care continuum. It is an important resource hospital advocates should review, download and keep as a resource.

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Post-Test and Program Evaluation:

Following each session, there is a 10-question post-test that allows you to gauge what you learned in each session. As the industry continues to change, continuous learning is essential and advocates will need to stay up to date in order to provide the best service to their patients and families.

Important Information for Qualifying:

The training program is taught at as an introduction and as a refresher for those who may be in practice as a hospital patient advocate. The Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy E-Learning program is open to anyone who wants an introduction to this emerging field or for organizations who want to use the program as a way to provide common ground for which all members of the healthcare team can work together to improve the patient experience.


Tuition for the Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy e-learning program costs $895 per student. Enroll today!

For questions about the program, please contact or 1-855-225-5341.

Renewing Your Certificate:

The Hospital Patient Advocate Certificate is valid for two years from the time you take the training program and pass the exam. To assist you in maintaining a current Certificate, the valid-through date is printed on your Certificate.

To renew your Certificate, you are required to retake the exam through the Professional Patient Advocate Institute online learning management portal. The current price to retake the exam is $175.

We suggest that professionals participate in the full Certificate training program every two years due to the dynamic changes occurring throughout healthcare. The Professional Patient Advocate Institute membership department is available to assist you when the time comes for renewal. Sign up here to renew your Certificate.

On-site Workshops:

On-site workshops can be scheduled on a one-to-one basis. To discuss having an on-site workshop at your organization, please contact:

Connie Zeller at:

Contact Us:

For questions about our program, please contact customer service at 1-855-225-5341.

Frequently Asked Questions