Patient navigators provide in-depth help that matches a family’s culture. By doing so, patient navigators can help families:
- Access high-quality care.
- Improve their children’s health.
Patient navigators are part of our goal to prevent or reduce health inequities.
Leader in pediatric patient navigation
Seattle Children’s is the only pediatric hospital in Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho with a patient navigation program for families with complex medical needs and limited English proficiency.
Since the program began in 2008, our navigators have served about 700 patients and their families. In 2015, we expanded from 3 to 4 navigators, and in 2016 we added 2 more navigators to serve more families in more languages and from more cultures.
Our patient navigators have a special mix of talents and skills, including:
- Deep compassion
- Broad knowledge of the healthcare system
- Ability to build trust and understanding between families and the rest of the care team
Measureable improvements for children
Data shows that navigation services help patients at Seattle Children’s get the care they need. For example, after joining the Patient Navigation Program:
- Children are less likely to miss appointments.
- Children are less likely to need a hospital stay (lower inpatient admission rate).
- Children who are admitted to the hospital do not need to stay as long (lower average length of stay).
By helping us provide safe, timely, efficient care, the program promotes healthier children and also reduces costs.
Focus on empowering families
Our goal is to teach families the skills they need so they can use the healthcare system on their own with confidence. A detailed checklist guides our work so we know:
- When a family is ready to graduate from the Patient Navigation Program
- When we need to make a plan to overcome some barrier to graduation and help the family succeed