Simplifying the healthcare journey | FierceHealth


By Rick Newell, MD, MPH

The healthcare industry is a complex and dynamic ecosystem that continues to evolve to meet the needs of patients today while anticipating future expectations. The rise of alternative care models in recent years demonstrates the flexibility within healthcare to deliver on the promise of patient-centered care in a way that truly responds to our patients when and where they need it most. we.

Navigating the healthcare system is a demanding and often frustrating task, especially for patients and families facing a health crisis. An equally profound problem is the lack of integration between the multiple points of contact that a patient may encounter in their healthcare journey.

The ability to provide concierge-level assistance to patients may soon become a crucial differentiator for healthcare systems. To better integrate the patient journey, the navigation of patient care is increasingly recognized by health systems for its ability to take advantage of the latest advances in digital health to offer personalized support to patients throughout their life. their care path.

Guiding patients through the maze of healthcare

Patient navigators are members of the larger care team who work with patients to overcome barriers and help them better understand their options for continuing care and how to obtain them. The process begins with an assessment of the needs of the patient and caregivers. Navigators then guide the patient and their family to the resources needed to produce a holistic and satisfying healthcare journey. This ensures that the patient and their caregivers receive concierge level support and never feel alone on their journey.

The following are examples of patient navigation solutions:

  • Post-acute navigation—For emergency department (ED) patients at risk of return visits and exacerbations of their disease (s).
  • Navigating Substance Use—For patients who begin drug treatment during an emergency room or hospital visit and are then connected to community resources.
  • Transitional care management—For complex inpatients making the transition to home or to a lower level of care.
  • Navigating preventive, primary and urgent care—For outpatients who may need help managing primary or preventive care and those with more acute emergency care service needs through links with telehealth physicians.

For patients and their families, navigating care can reduce emotional and social barriers to care. Navigators also help improve the quality and timeliness of care by scheduling necessary follow-up appointments and advocating for patients and their needs. In addition, they are available to address social determinants of health (eg, food and housing insecurity) by connecting families with community resources. This translates into better patient outcomes and a better patient experience with less frustration in the maze of healthcare.

Navigation also pays off for healthcare systems in terms of reputation, savings and efficiency. A navigation pilot at a major Illinois healthcare system resulted in a 53% decrease in emergency room visits for heavy users six months after navigation and garnered excellent patient feedback. Its success has also been demonstrated by improving quality metrics for value-based reimbursement programs (eg, bulk payments).

Vituity’s dedication to navigation in care

Vituity recently launched Healthy, a new company dedicated to providing highly personalized support through the navigation of care. Healthful is the first startup to come out of Influence health, the innovation hub of Vituity.

Healthful represents Vituity’s continued investment in patient-centric solutions that improve experience, equity, access and outcomes. It was inspired by frontline clinicians at Vituity who noticed that their patients needed direct support to navigate the ins and outs of complex healthcare experiences. Healthful’s service portfolio includes population health management, support for alternative payment models, transitional care management, and emergency and addiction service navigation.

Healthful’s proprietary patient navigation platform is among the first to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help team members accurately and proactively identify patients who will benefit the more care navigation. This technology also helps Healthful Navigators to develop personalized care plans for each patient.

Doing good through our patients

As healthcare providers and consumers, most of us know firsthand the frustration of dealing with our fragmented system. We have a moral imperative to make care as accessible as possible to our patients. It means providing them with the support they need to understand options, meet social needs, and defend themselves. Navigating care is one of the most economical ways to guide patients through their care journey. And I think we can all agree that this is what we would choose for our families and ourselves.

About the Author
Rick Newell, MD, MPH, is the Director of Transformation of Vituity and Managing Director of Inflect Health, the innovation hub of Vituity. In this role, he is responsible for the development, implementation and execution of strategies, programs and technologies that improve and transform the delivery of healthcare company-wide. He is passionate about driving transformational change in healthcare to positively impact the lives of patients and team members by simplifying complexity and embracing innovation.


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