Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (OOA) is an orthopedic group in southwest Washington, serving over 100,000 patients and performing more than 10,000 surgeries annually. It was founded in 1972.
OOA started using nurse navigators in early 2015 when it launched an outpatient total joint and spine program. There are currently three nurse navigators managing total joint and spine patients. These nurse navigators specialize in orthopedics. They help prepare patients and their families for surgery and follow them in the postoperative period. Their objectives: strive to ensure patient safety and positive outcomes.
Navigators use a patient tracking system that calculates surgical risk and follows the patient through the different phases of care. Navigators are able to document all patient interactions, allowing providers to view this information as well. A smartphone app was recently developed for providers which allow them to view documentation and communicate with the nurse navigators.
OOA’s nurse navigator program value is measured through patient satisfaction, positive patient outcomes and cost savings. Since the start of the program, OOA has achieved a decrease in length of hospital stay, skilled nursing admissions, and complication rates.
Navigation at OOA
Becki Taylor, RN, BSN, surgical services program manager for OOA’s outpatient total joint program, spoke with NurseNavigation.com about the history and future of OOA’s navigation program.
Q: Why did your organization start a nurse navigation program?
Becki Taylor: OOA started this program to help improve the quality of patient care and provide a more personal experience for our patients, thus delivering better surgical outcomes for our patients.
Q: What role does navigation and your navigators play in supporting your organization’s mission?
BT: OOA strives to provide our patients with convenience and the highest quality orthopedic services. Our nurse navigators mirror this mission by providing our patients with direct nurse access and direction throughout their surgical experience.
Q: What is the most important value your program provides?
BT: The most important value our nurse navigation program provides is patient support. These surgical procedures can be overwhelming to many patients and having a nurse as an available resource helps ease concerns and reduces complications.
Q: What does OOA do to support the program?
BT: Our nurse navigators are in constant communication with staff and providers. OOA supports our navigators by providing direct and easy access to our multidisciplinary team.
Q: What plans do you have to further grow your program?
BT: In the near future we are planning to expand our nurse navigator program to oversee all of our surgical patients.