USA: The Highmark Foundation teams up with Accenture in order to establish and implement a patient navigation pilot program at two Western Pennsylvania hospitals: St. Vincent Health System in Erie and Allegheny Valley in Pittsburgh. As per the company, Highmark Foundation has committed $254,500 and Accenture will provide pro-bono services in support of the program.
As in news, patient navigation utilizes low-cost, trained community members to connect patients to primary care. It has shown to reduce appointment “no-show” rates, decrease inpatient admissions and reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, according to a recent Accenture report.
As per the source, Accenture and the Highmark Foundation will said to work with the hospitals to create an infrastructure for patient navigation – both locally and within the individual hospitals. As a part of the effort, six patient navigators are said to be trained, hired and placed within the hospitals, while an additional 10 navigators will be trained, so they can assist when necessary. A third participating hospital is currently being determined.
Yvonne Cook, president, Highmark Foundation, said: “This initiative demonstrates the Highmark Foundation’s commitment to improving and assuring access to quality health care for underserved populations in both urban and rural areas. Patient navigators have proven to be effective by enabling timely access to health care services.”
Jean-Pierre Stephan, health consumer and services head, Accenture, said: “Patient navigation not only creates a one-on-one connection for the patient, it serves as a low-cost investment that delivers significant value to care delivery. The Highmark Foundation is uniquely positioned to help hospitals and patients navigate various barriers within the health system while freeing up time for clinicians to do what they do best – provide care.”