As health care providers, aside from evaluating, treating and providing compassionate care to each and every one of our patients each day, we have the additional job of being detectives…medical history detectives! Our patients often are seen and treated by more than one provider and it becomes our job to track down and piece together the most comprehensive picture of their health stories.
Behavioral health treatment, in particular, has a history of carrying a stigma that may discourage a patient from readily disclosing to their primary care provider. Providing patients with the appropriate forms in order to obtain records from each of their providers is an important part of a visit. We all know that the primary care physician is the “gatekeeper” to a patient’s entire medical picture, and it would be great if we could work together in order to make it a little easier to obtain that complete picture for the provider.
The Impact WV Program has Patient Navigators that are available to assist. With the integration of the Impact WV worker into the treatment team, the role of the “health detective” could be filled (or supported).
Patient Navigators can also reinforce the healthy messages that you, as healthcare providers, want to convey to your patients by keeping that open line of communication and support open between regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments.
Patient Navigators could obtain the appropriate ROI’s from each of a patient’s providers, including MAT providers, BH providers, Early Intervention Providers, Home Visitors, specialists, etc. in order for the family doctor/pediatrician to have the most accurate view of the whole patient.
Patients often don’t share all of the pertinent information that would be helpful to providing their care for any number of reasons. It would be ideal if the Patient Navigator had the ability to present that “whole picture” to the appropriate providers by making those connections. The only way to do that would be by having the patient’s permission and by educating the patient to advocate for themselves at each of their office visits.
The ability to provide wholistic care is always the end goal but in order to achieve it, we have to all communicate across the care continuum.
Please encourage your patients/clients to Get Connected today!!!