Putting the Personal Touch Back Into Healthcare
Healthcare Navigators Help Eliminate Confusion in Finding Spine and Orthopedic Care
From joint issues and broken bones to back pain, no two medical needs are the same. The same can be said for the paths of treatment for those ailments and conditions, too.
That is why Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center is a great resource for those in and around Collin County. The Center works to connect patients with participating physicians who can offer individualized care that can include physician office visits, physical therapy, medication, injections and surgery, if necessary. “Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center was established because the leaders at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano and Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery recognized collectively we have some of the leading experts in spine, joint replacement and general orthopedics on staff at our hospitals, and we wanted patients to be able to easily access them while also benefiting from the personal touch of a patient navigator. It dawned on us that, unified, we would be able to provide a better and more consistent service. So, we created the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center,” Larry Robertson, President of Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery explains.
For years, Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center, through its more than 40 physician members, have helped patients recover from injuries and resume healthy, active lives. The participating physicians offer treatment options for a variety of orthopedic conditions. Their areas of interest include sports medicine, joint replacement surgery, treatment options for neck and back pain, including scoliosis and artificial disc replacement and general orthopedics. “We established the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center mainly as a way to help patients who are looking for those services to access premier providers with concierge services. We use a navigation methodology to be able to take patients who need those services and provide them with a person dedicated to assisting them through their entire episode of care,” Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano President Josh Floren explains.
Almost anyone will agree that navigating a healthcare need is a very complicated ordeal. When patients are hurting and/or need services, the last thing they want to do is get lost in the system, and because it is complicated it is that much more important that patients have access to someone who is knowledgeable and can help them with this need.
The program can save patients time and hassle, as navigators are in tune with everything from scheduling to what insurances are taken to help make the right recommendation. The Patient Navigator helps patients understand their treatment program and can walk them through the steps of their diagnostic and treatment plan and verify they are knowledgeable about each step along the way. The Patient Navigator can facilitate the coordination of care between multiple offices so that patients are able to follow the treatment plan the doctor prescribed and help prevent things from falling through the cracks using streamlined communication between providers and patients. In addition, the Patient Navigator is available to help the patient work through questions that may arise. The Center is also great resource for physicians who need to make referrals to specialists as it provides one place for all the referrals to be sent.
“Navigating healthcare is very difficult, and most patients searching for services now are going to the Internet, where they are forced to dig through a lot of content that may or may not be accurate or relevant to them specifically,” Mr. Floren says. “The beauty of navigation is that patients have someone who is knowledgeable and skilled at trying to find the right doctor for the right condition. It does not end there! Not only does it help get patients to the right doctor, but that navigator becomes a resource for the patient as they walk through the care continuum, so they are in the right place for the right type of care. It takes some of the angst out of the patient’s hands and allows the Patient Navigator, someone knowledgeable about the health system and the physicians that are part of the program, to help the patient feel confident they have someone getting them to the right place.”
Navigating healthcare is very difficult, and most patients searching for services now are going to the Internet …
With the increasing number of people moving to Collin County, finding a new doctor can be time consuming and confusing. The Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center streamlines the process for finding the right specialist for any spine or orthopedic need and can help get patients to the right doctor faster. They minimize unnecessary appointments and can even help coordinate care between multiple offices for patients requiring care from multiple specialists. Mr. Floren continues, “Given that the Spine & Orthopedic Center works with doctors participating in the referral program with various specialties, the Patient Navigator is crucial. The navigator can truly find what the patient needs and find the best location and provider, which makes it very unique.” Mr. Robertson adds, “We want the opportunity to work with patients to expedite the journey to get them the appropriate provider and care they need. It takes a lot of guess work and confusion out of the process and gives the patient some options they might not otherwise have after researching themselves.”
As North Texas continues to grow and more people choose to lay down their roots here, the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center is here to help lessen the burden. Mr. Robertson continues, “Sometimes, patients are not familiar with the providers or the area … or even their insurance coverage. We can help with all that. It is a unique service that allows us to help guide the patient to the member doctor most appropriate for their specific needs. For those moving to the area or who have moved, they have two well-respected organizations that are easy to access, which gives folks a unique option for healthcare. There are a lot of great physicians and a lot of great hospitals in our community. We are blessed with that, but healthcare can be daunting if you are not sure where to turn. We want to try to be that guiding resource to whoever we can.”
Of the Patient Navigator model, Mr. Robertson says the center has utilized it for a number of years and it continues to be a positive resource for the physicians and patients who have participated in it. He recalls, “The feedback we get from the patients has been positive, even for those who have not needed a hospital stay or surgery. We pride ourselves on creating those relationships with the patients. So many times, healthcare can be impersonal, and trying to have that personal touch is where we try to make a difference.”
In the sometimes-overwhelming world of medical care that is so easy to get lost in, the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center can be the compass for those who need the guidance and direction to find the appropriate orthopedic care for their situation. Regardless of the ailment, condition, situation or injury, the Patient Navigators and participating physicians with Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center are ready to help get your life back on track — as seamlessly as possible.