Medical Social Services is an important link between patient, family, medical team, and community. Medical Social Services personnel help with discharge planning, patient and family counseling and serve as a liaison to community services. Medical social services professionals help individuals, couples and families cope with the social, psychological, cultural and medical issues resulting from an illness. Professionals in medical social services also help patients fully utilize medical care and services by:
- Explaining health-care resources and policies to patients, family and professional staff.
- Helping plan for post-hospital patient needs by arranging for services at another facility or in the home.
- Explaining to patients the epidemiology of diseases, including social environment risk factors.
- Helping patients and families receive needed follow-up care by referral to health-care resources.
- Understanding the social, cultural and religious variables that contribute to patients' responses to illness and their use of health-care resources.
- Providing advocacy through appropriate organizations.