FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 15, 2020
Saratoga Hospital Launches Clinical Navigation Program
New service helps arrange and coordinate care for patients with serious illnesses
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., Dec. 15, 2020—You’ve just learned you might have cancer. Now what?
For patients unaccustomed to navigating the healthcare system, the next steps—diagnosis, treatment plan and follow-up care—can seem overwhelming. That’s why Saratoga Hospital launched a new Clinical Navigation Program that provides hands-on guidance for patients with serious illnesses.
“Our goal is to reduce the stress and challenges that patients face during a difficult, often frightening time,” said Kelly Bailey, nurse practitioner, who heads the new program. “By connecting them to the appropriate care team as early as possible, we help patients move from that first clinical finding to treatment in a timely manner.
“Coordinated care is associated with less stress and better health outcomes,” she added. “That’s what we want for all our patients.”
The Clinical Navigation Program is rooted in Bailey’s personal experience as a nurse practitioner and cancer patient. Throughout her nearly 30-year career, friends, family members and colleagues have consistently sought her advice after being told of a potentially problematic clinical finding.
“Most of them just don’t know where to turn,” she said. “They’ve never had to navigate the healthcare system before, so I’m always happy to help.”
The idea for a more formal approach took hold after Bailey was diagnosed with cancer and, while undergoing chemotherapy, heard firsthand how long some patients waited for a diagnosis and treatment plan. One of the most common reasons for the delay was that patients were unfamiliar with the process.
After she recovered, Bailey proposed a solution to Saratoga Hospital leadership. Within months, the Clinical Navigation Program was up and running at Saratoga Hospital Medical Offices – Wesley.
In addition to Bailey, the program team includes a nurse, nurse care manager, medical assistant, patient access specialist, and practice manager. All are dedicated to streamlining the process so patients with serious health conditions receive timely, comprehensive, coordinated care.
“This is our only focus, so we can expedite the process more easily than other providers,” Bailey said.
The clinical navigation team starts by sitting down with the patient, helping them understand and digest their test results, describing next steps, and arranging the appointments that will lead to a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.
“Patients leave our office knowing that someone has their back and will make sure the details are taken care of,” Bailey said. “When you’re facing an unexpected diagnosis or declining health, these support services can be life-changing.”
Most patients are referred to the program to follow up on a clinical finding discovered during a visit to the Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center or a Saratoga Hospital urgent care center. Others are referred by their primary care provider. Patients can also reach out to the program without a referral.
The Clinical Navigation Program is located at 119 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs. For an appointment, call 518-886-6030. To learn more, go to www.saratogahospital.org.
About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. The hospital’s multispecialty practice, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, provides care at more than 20 locations, ensuring easy access to programs and services that can have the greatest impact on individual and community health. Saratoga Hospital has maintained Magnet designation for nursing excellence since 2004. The hospital is an affiliate of the Albany Med Health System, which also includes Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health and Glens Falls Hospital. The region’s largest locally governed health system, it has 1,520 beds, more than 800 physicians and 125 outpatient locations. For more information: www.saratogahospital.org or www.facebook.com/SaratogaHospital.
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