I recently spoke with someone at Dankmeyer called a “Patient Navigator” about a future appointment. What is a “Patient Navigator” and can I expect to hear from him again?
Our Patient Navigator role is being developed and we will have more details about that later. In the meantime, what is that? A Patient Navigator is someone who provides guidance to patients as they move through the health care system, helping their patients to access resources that speed the delivery of treatment and follow-up care. The Patient Navigator may at times guide patients through and around barriers to their care which might include financial barriers (insufficient health insurance); educational barriers (inadequate health literacy); transportation barriers (a need for dependable private or public transportation); and any life circumstance that impedes a patient's access to timely treatment and follow-up care.
The Navigator seeks to provide resources which might include lists of private and non-profit organizations that may help; written information regarding support groups and other community organizations; and educational materials that serve to increase a patient's health literacy. Patient Navigators also develop relationships with individual staff at local healthcare, government, and non-profit organizations, who may be of service to his/her patients. On an as-needed basis, the Navigator connects particular patients to particular staff at these organizations to expedite the problem solving process.
We frequently receive requests to provide our new amputees with driver information and resources. Many new patients are unaware that they are legally obliged to self-report their medical conditions to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), to have their cases reviewed by a medical advisory board, which is charged with evaluating their medical fitness to drive. We provide these patients with a summary of the MVA's requirements, contact information for the MVA's Driver Wellness and Safety Division, as well as a list of local driver rehabilitation programs and adaptive driver equipment suppliers. As patients most often endure long waits to receive the results of their MVA medical evaluations, we advise them to consider completing a driver rehabilitation program while waiting for their medical review results; this way, their certifications are at the ready upon receiving word from the MVA. This information serves to significantly shorten the amount of time it takes to get our patients back on the road.
There are other resources that we provide to try and smooth a patient’s way through their own health care system. We have a new web page where all these resources are available. Visit the Patient Navigator page.
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