Services & Specialties June 07, 2013

Navigators Guide Patients Through Their Care Plan

When you or a loved one are faced with an emergent or elective surgery, it can be a scary time and you likely have many questions. We live in an age where we can find information about nearly anything, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look or what to ask. While Google or WebMD offer information on many topics, your health care provider and the team of medical professionals in your physician’s office know you best, and should be your primary source when questions arise.

I have been a registered nurse at Adena Health System for nine years, and currently serve as the patient navigator for patients undergoing total joint replacement at Adena Bone and Joint.  Patient navigators are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry and are helping to improve medical outcomes, patient satisfaction and reduce missed appointments. Two years ago, Adena Health System realized the benefit of “navigation” to patients and started the patient navigator program.

As a total joint replacement patient navigator my role is to help patients “navigate” through the healthcare system from the time they decide to have surgery, until after they are no longer under the care of the surgeon. When Dr. Eric Schiffman explains the role of the navigator to our patients, he says the patient navigator is their “lifeline” throughout the joint replacement journey. This is so true in the sense that the navigator guides the patient through every step of the surgical and rehabilitative process.

Seeing the benefit of navigation for patients through the joint replacement process, and in areas of family practice, Adena has recently added navigators to physician practices throughout the Health System. Navigators are assisting patients with the questions that come up related to their treatment plan, helping patients manage chronic diseases like diabetes, and preparing them for testing or upcoming surgeries.

Adena embraces and encourages best practices when it comes to patient-centered care. We have a team of close-to-home experts to help answer your health-related questions and will guide you through the process of achieving or maintaining better health.

If you have a question about Total Joint Replacement or would like to make an appointment, call Adena Bone and Joint at (740) 779-4598. For more information on Adena Bone and Joint, please visit our webpage.




- Michelle Hendershot, RN, BSN