Patient Navigation Program

What are patient navigators?

Patient navigators are part of your child’s healthcare team. They teach you how to navigate the healthcare system by helping you learn how to:

  • Schedule appointments.
  • Help you fill out forms.
  • Request interpreter services.
  • Seek financial assistance.
  • Connect you with resources and services at Seattle Children’s.
  • Arrange transportation.

Who qualifies for a patient navigator?

Patient navigators are for families who have limited English proficiency. Your family may qualify if at least two of these are true: 

  • Your child has complex medical needs and gets care from one or more clinics at Seattle Children’s.
  • Your family is having a hard time understanding the diagnosis or treatment options.
  • Your family is new to the United States and does not understand our healthcare system.
  • Your culture or religion is impacting your child’s care.
  • Your family has missed appointments at Seattle Children’s.
  • Your family is coming to Seattle Children’s from outside King County or is working with International Medical Services. 

How do I get a patient navigator?

Talk with your child’s healthcare team at Seattle Children’s (doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, nurse or social worker). They can ask for a patient navigator for you.

If a healthcare provider in the community refers you to Seattle Children’s for healthcare, they can also request a patient navigator (PDF).

Once we receive your referral, a patient navigator will call you. They can also come see you if your child is in the hospital. They will explain the program and ask if you would like their help. You will not have to pay for this service – it is free for families.

What’s special about patient navigators at Seattle Children’s?

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.

Data shows that navigators help patients at Seattle Children’s get the care they need. After joining the Patient Navigation Program children are: 

  • Less likely to miss appointments
  • Less likely to need a hospital stay (lower inpatient admission rate)
  • Able to go home sooner when admitted to the hospital (lower average length of stay)