P.E.I.'s new patient navigator on how she's helping Islanders
Mary Coady says her role is to guide people through the health-care system
P.E.I.'s patient navigator has been on the job about two months now. Mary Laura Coady says her role is to guide people through the health-care system, and smooth out any bumps they may encounter along the way.
She stopped by CBC's Island Morning to talk about what her job entails.
How are you helping Islanders?
I can ensure you are connected with the right service provider, perhaps while you're waiting for a specialist you could benefit from a community program or service. I could connect you with those people or that program. If you're waiting to see a specialist off-Island, I may be able to help co-ordinate this. An example might be arranging for the appointment to be midday to reduce accommodation costs.
What's different between an advocate and navigator?
I see an advocate as someone that's kind of in your corner and trying to maybe push for one solution in particular, where I like to see my role as giving you perhaps a variety of different solutions and then put the ball back in the patient's court to make the choice.
What are the most common requests?
I can't say there's a really common thread as of yet. On of my roles is to identify gaps in the system so if there's a common theme we'll work toward resolving those concerns.
Who is most likely to use your services?
A good example might be someone who lives in a rural area and needs to come to Charlottetown for a variety of appointments. So I might be able to co-ordinate those to reduce travel time.
Do you only help people on P.E.I.?
I've also been able to help some people who live off-Island but have loved ones here on P.E.I., and they're kind of struggling navigating the health-care system from away.
Do patients need a referral to get your help?
How do people contact you?
They can call or email.
[902-620-3418 or toll free at 1-844-882-3141, email firstname.lastname@example.org].
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With files from CBC's Island Morning