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Patient Navigator

Who are patient navigators?

A patient navigator is a healthcare team member who assesses and addresses a patient’s immediate needs while laying the groundwork for ongoing or future support. The patient navigator helps to guide patients through the patient journeydiagnosis, treatment, and recovery—serving as a valuable resource available to answer any questions the patient or their caregiver may have. They can also connect the patient with financial resources, transportation, or lodging options if needed.

Patient navigators remove a patient’s barriers to care by helping the patient navigate the health care system, identifying critical resources, and promoting client health. They work closely with other members of the care team, including doctors and nurses.

How do patient navigators improve healthcare?

By connecting patients with the care and resources they need, patient navigators help patients navigate their medical diagnosis and treatment, which can lead to greater patient satisfaction and better outcomes.

Some of the areas that patient navigators can help with include:

  • Educational resources (e.g., disease information, clinical trials, potential treatments, survivorship)
  • Financial assistance options
  • Employment concerns
  • Local community resources
  • Lodging options
  • Insurance concerns
  • Support resources
  • Transportation options

The patient navigator also helps patients stay engaged in their medical care and adhere to their treatment plan, further improving outcomes.