SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital has launched a new clinical navigation program that provides hands-on guidance for patients with serious illnesses to assist patients unaccustomed to navigating the healthcare system — from diagnosis to treatment plan and follow-up care.
“Our goal is to reduce the stress and challenges that patients face during a difficult, often frightening time,” Kelly Bailey, nurse practitioner, who heads the new program, said in a statement. “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.
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.
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.
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.