Patient Navigators Essay

1300 Words 5 Pages
A patient navigator can be an asset to a health care clinic. Their job focusses on providing the ins and outs of the health care setting. They apply knowledge that helps patients to navigate the healthcare system and receive the timely care they require. When patient navigators started being utilized in clinics and hospitals, they were solely used for cancer care. Now that is has been shown that patient navigators are a vital part of the healthcare team, they are being used to help patients with other chronic diseases. The nation 's first patient navigation program was initiated by Dr. Harold Freeman in 1990 at a public hospital in Harlem, New York and it directed education and screening for breast cancer. Patient navigators can include nurses …show more content…
This position tends to save money because no-shows in the clinic are reduced, patients tend to follow treatment regimens better, underlying health problems are detected earlier when patient’s tests are kept track of and visits to emergency rooms decline due to the fact that a patient will call and speak with the office patient navigator fist before just going to the emergency room. It also helps by filling in the many differences that are found in the current American health care system. Most patient navigators may have professional medical, legal, financial, or administrative experience and training. Or they may have been affected personally by health care-related challenges and want to help others who find themselves in similar situations. Data shown from some of Dr. Freeman’s programs and other healthcare facilities who use patient navigators had begun to prove how valuable navigation could be to improve care and treatment outcomes for patients. For example, the studies that were done found that a patient 's five-year survival rates went from 39 percent prior to the development of a patient navigator program to 70 percent for breast cancer patients at Harlem Hospital …show more content…
They also help by informing the patient on the financial aspects of care they receive and linking the patient to financial resources as needed. Patient navigators manage to follow up visits while ensuring the continuation of care and can help connect patients to community resources. They open up the essential communication needed between the patient, their family members, and healthcare providers to ensure patient satisfaction and quality of care. This is a huge help in the clinic, most patients do not know the ins and outs of the healthcare system, the patient navigator is there to help them find the gaps in their care and remove the barriers to care through education and training (http://journal.ahima.org,

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