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Patient Navigation System

Patient Navigator System

What it is

Patient Navigator Program was created to bridge the gap between the Asian American and Pacific Islander patient and the healthcare system. It aims to increase healthcare access by breaking the barriers of language, culture, unfamiliar healthcare system, and economics.

Background

This program was founded in 2003, after noting that:

  • adequate health care was not reaching many Asians in the community,
  • disparity in care, although found to be largely due to language barriers, was also due to:
    • unfamiliar healthcare system
    • lack of health insurance
    • cultural incompatibility with western treatment methods
  • there are no health programs addressing Asian American health issues specifically.

Solution

The patient navigator program was designed to assist Asians within the community in navigating and understanding the health care system by providing volunteer patient navigators who serve as a connection between the health care provider and the Asian American seeking health care access.

Patient navigators break the barriers of language and culture by closely guiding the patient through the process. Its unique feature lies in matching the Asian American patient with a volunteer from the same language and cultural background who is trained in securing the most benefits from the public health care system of Michigan.

Strategies

  • Enhanced volunteerism from various Asian ethnic communities,
  • Local health care institution engagement,
  • Resource collaboration,
  • Reduced fixed costs in programming,
  • Asian American immigrant integration through language education,
  • Patient-centered healthcare access.

Outcomes

  • Seven (7) ethnic groups represented,
  • Fifteen (15) certified Patient Navigators,
  • Hundreds now having their own primary care doctors, setting up their own appointments, independently responsible for their own health care needs,
  • Hundreds of healthier Asian Americans in Michigan.