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Emergency Department Patient Navigator Program

The health care system can be complicated to navigate even under the best of circumstances. For those who are uninsured, undocumented, living in poverty or who are non-native English speakers, the challenges of navigating the health care system are augmented. Therefore, giving this population extra support and resources is key to their long-term health and general well-being.

Mission

The mission of the Emergency Department (ED) Patient Navigator Program is to improve access to care for patients who are discharged from the EDs. The Program seeks to empower and educate patients on accessing and utilizing health care services; enabling patients and their families to achieve the most successful plan for continuity of care and maximizing their use of available resources.

The Patient Navigator Program is made possible by a philanthropic endowment. It provides services to patients of all ages who are treated and released from the Emergency Department.

Scope of Service

Emergency Department-based Patient Navigators are a mix of Community Navigators and Health Priority Specialists. All Patient Navigators are bilingual and bicultural and have extensive experience working for and with the local community.

Specifically, Patient Navigators:

  • educate patients on having and utilizing a Primary Care Provider
  • educate patients on the importance of medical appointment compliance
  • help patients address their health insurance related concerns
  • schedule appointments for patients requiring one or more of the following:
    • A primary care physician: the appointment might be a consultation, a physical or a follow up to the ED visit
    • A specialty care appointment
  • follow-up with patient to ensure patient compliance with medical appointments
  • provide referrals for financial assistance to uninsured patients

Accomplishments

The Program opened in December 2008 at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital Emergency Departments and in March 2009 at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital (MSCHONY) Emergency Department.

Since the Program's inception through March 2014, close to 40,000 patients received Patient Navigator Intervention. Ninety eight percent of that group also had at least one appointment scheduled by a Patient Navigator. That means that over 39,000 patients received education on health care services, medical appointments, and follow up phone calls to ensure compliance with these appointments. All this accomplished while maintaining over a 77% medical appointment compliance rate.

Contact

Erina Greca
Erina Greca
Program Manager, Patient Navigator Program
Phone: (212) 342-4044
Email: erg9033@nyp.org
Dziwe Ntaba, MD MPH
Dziwe Ntaba, MD MPH
Medical Director, Patient Navigator Program
Phone: (212) 932-4016
Email: dwn2105@cumc.columbia.edu

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