Why Everyone Needs a Healthcare Navigator

When we buy a new home, prepare a tax return, or face a legal issue, we don’t think twice about finding an expert to help. When facing serious medical procedures, we trust the advice of our neighbor’s cousin and whatever we can find online. Can’t we do better? Especially when it comes to surgery, everyone needs a healthcare navigator. An advocate. An educated friend.

Healthcare is Complicated

Let’s begin with your physician. She’s certainly on your side, right? The answer is not as clear as perhaps it once was. Increasingly, physicians have become hospital employees. That drives a different set of incentives. The results are mixed. And what if you have multiple physicians overseeing your care? Say, an oncologist and a surgeon? Or what if you want a second opinion? Who is coordinating?

Complexity increases quickly in healthcare. At the center resides a patient, overwhelmed by information and frustrated by conflicting opinions. This patient is a person who is taking time away from work and life to sort it all out. He or she is a person who, even if not outwardly saying it, is also very likely feeling a prevailing emotion about what happens next. That emotion further complicates the ability to process a new situation and make sound decisions. That emotion?

Anxiety. Perhaps even fear.

Healthcare is Intimidating

Only 12 percent of U.S. adults have the health literacy skills needed to manage the demands of our complex health care system. To put it in even more specific terms, the average American reads at an 8th grade level. Average hospital discharge instructions (like those you might receive after a surgery) are written at a 12th grade-plus level. Even when patients know what to ask, they often don’t, choosing instead to show deference to the physician.

A New Model for Surgery & Recovery 

Goldfinch Health created a health navigator model that combines personalized nurse case management, patient advocacy, Enhanced Surgical pathways, and leading-edge technology. This ensures patients have access to the best information, surgical approaches and, perhaps most important, support exactly where and when they need it. The Patient is the Center of Excellence with Goldfinch. It’s what we all deserve.

To learn more or request a no-cost Surgery Quality Analysis for your group, contact a Goldfinch Health representative here or by email (hello@goldfinchhealth.com).