The Role of Nurse Navigators
The nurse navigator duty is a part of the general nursing role but it is specialized to facilitate the journey of the patient when the health system becomes complex. Educating, reducing barriers, reducing fragmentation of services, and coordinating the process of delivering care to the patient, achieve this. The roles move across many specialties and existing care models in a clinical area or facility. There are four main roles of nurse navigators, which include the coordination of patient-centered care, creation of partnerships, improvement of patient outcomes, and facilitating improvement of health. Discussed below are these roles in details.
In the coordination of patient-centered care, the nurse is in charge of coordinating the patient’s medical journey for selected patients holistically across many disciplines, whose purpose is not responding to the symptoms but responding to the care of the patient. They enhance the application of integrated care, which is patient-centered using models that have been determined by clinicians. Under this role, the nurse navigators are also responsible for the facilitation of care to patients while they present unscheduled care at a high frequency. Due to the integration of systems and reducing barriers and fragmentation in personalized care, they facilitate effective patient-centered care. This role gives the patient an enhance quality of life.
On improving the outcomes of the patient, a nurse navigator provides care that is dependent on key performance indicators that have been predetermined to focus on the outcomes of the patient throughout their journey in the health care system. They also encourage and facilitate the patient to engage in the development and achievement of goals on health care, which assist in promoting self-management and the literacy of the patient towards their own health. With improved health literacy, patients and their families are able to choose the right health care option that comes along during their recovery journey.
Another duty of a nurse navigator is to create partnerships. They become a central coordination, engagement and communication point for the stakeholders in the patient care process. They ensure that the patient and their family play their role in the patient care journey, mainly by making decisions on the next step. Under this role, these nurses establish an efficient line of communication between all the care providers using ways they see fit. Under this role, they are also in charge of facilitating clinical meetings especially those that focus on continuing management and planning of a discharge. They supervise and guide graduates, students, and other staff.
Lastly, the nurse navigators have the duty to improve the systems in place. They are agents of change using this leadership duty allocated to them within the structure of the organization they work with. They reduce duplication, inappropriate treatment, fragmentation, and delays by their help of a high-level systems skill set. They identify and address the systems or functional barriers that affect good communication in the pursuit to enhance patient-centered care. They are also in charge of leadership towards improvement of quality and conduct research that is significant to the roles discussed above. This can take the form of KPIs, satisfactory surveys, or any improvement of health services activity.
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