What Is A Healthcare Navigator & How Can It Help?

What Is A Healthcare Navigator

Patient navigators help patients access health care and reduce the number of missed cancer screening appointments. These professionals also improve access to information and break down literacy barriers. Patient navigators are essential, from reducing missed appointments to improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities. Read on to learn about the various roles and functions of patient navigators. What are the benefits of working with a healthcare navigator?

Patient Navigators Improve The Quality Of Care

The healthcare navigator improves care quality by facilitating patient access to health care. These professionals may be qualified health care professionals or laypersons trained to provide patient information and support. Patient navigators’ key roles depend on their level of training, experience, and background. For example, laypersons may identify individual needs and barriers to care and carry out basic tasks, while professional navigators may undertake more advanced functions. In the USA, patient navigators are an integral part of oncology teams, as they work with patients throughout the disease process.

The introduction of patient navigators has been primarily limited to three areas: cancer care, transitional health care, and vulnerable populations. However, programs for patient navigators are emerging in all three areas. For example, cancer care presents several challenges, including limited access for some patient groups and disparities in health outcomes. In addition, care coordination across different settings is often complex, resulting in health inequities. However, with the help of patient navigators, these problems can be minimized and health outcomes improved.

They Break Down Literacy Barriers

The role of health navigators has been identified as a promising way to improve access to cancer care. As oral chemotherapy increases, patients are faced with greater responsibility for their care. This requires more excellent patient education and engagement in care decisions. Nurse navigators have the opportunity to address these challenges, increasing patient health literacy and improving patient adherence to treatment. In addition, cancer navigation programs provide health literacy education and address barriers to optimal cancer care.

The National Adult Literacy Survey (NAALS) measures the literacy levels of Americans and the number of Americans who are not fluent in English. The survey also assesses how well adults can read and understand health-related information. In addition, it refers to other skills related to understanding and applying health information.

They Reduce The Number Of Patients Who Cancel Appointments At The Last Minute

Hospitals and other health care providers lose millions of dollars annually due to missed appointments. The services of navigators can reduce the number of patients who cancel their positions at the last minute, reducing their cost to the health system. For example, a hospital with a patient navigator program saw its no-show rate fall.

Many health care providers charge patients for no-shows, but some advocates say there are more effective ways to ensure that patients attend appointments. For example, while a patient’s most common reason for a no-show appointment is to forget about work, other common barriers include childcare responsibilities and transit difficulties. In addition, a healthcare navigator will help patients navigate the system in the most beneficial way for their health.

They Improve Health Outcomes For Racial & Ethnic Minorities

Health disparities in the United States are significant. People of color and socioeconomic status are disproportionately affected by adverse health outcomes. For example, rural populations are more likely to suffer from chronic lower respiratory disease and unintentional injury than urban populations. Furthermore, health disparities cost states and economies nearly $42 billion annually in excess medical costs and lost productivity. Healthcare navigators help communities navigate the health care system.

Health disparities are inequities in health outcomes based on social, environmental, geographic, and individual characteristics. Various groups in society feel these differences. Patient navigators are critical in improving access to health care for underserved populations. They also address health-related issues arising from cultural and linguistic barriers. By helping patients navigate the complex health care system, healthcare navigators can contribute to improved health outcomes for underserved groups.

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