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Role of Respiratory Navigator

In Honor of National Respiratory Care Week, CDS is highlighting emphasizing how Respiratory Care Practitioners are adding value the the healthcare team and patient experience. First of all, RT’s have the honor of touching so many lives of all ages!

RT’s have been critical in the creation of this new role often working with case management and care coordination teams, they bring expert knowledge of respiratory diseases and many co-morbid disease, which they are subject matter experts, allowing them to make the greatest impact in patients lives. CDS values the extension of traditional respiratory therapy the role creates progressing care models further in the direction from reactive care to preventive care.

We have had the pleasure to meet several outstanding RT Navigators last month! Here was what some of them had to say about their position:

“What I would like for others to know about what we do…

Our main job is to empower the patient to self-manage their lung disease to the best of their ability. A “side-effect” of patients effectively self-managing their lung disease is reduced re-admissions and increased quality of life. We do this by assessing disease knowledge, identifying barriers to disease self-management, and securing respiratory devices and medications for home use. Staff RT’s can help us by reinforcing proper medication use during treatments and relaying needs that the patient may express to them.

Jenny Lankford, RRT, AE-C Respiratory Therapy Navigator Program Coordinator Greenville Health System

As a COPD Navigator, I have the unique opportunity to provide patient centered care. I am able to take the time to discover what matters most to the patient. I’m able to use this information to impact the patient’s outcome in a way that has the greatest impact from their perspective. This allows me to immediately see how the patients benefit from my involvement. Additionally, I’m working to create initiatives that allow the RT’s in my organization to have a greater impact on the overall outcome of the COPD patient’s medical course. These initiatives improve quality of care for the patients and job satisfaction for the therapists.

Buffy Chapman, RRT, BA COPD Patient Navigator, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Lexington Medical Center

Being a COPD Navigator uses all of my 36 years of respiratory knowledge… which is a wonderful challenge!

Scott Simms, RRT, BS , COPD Navigator, Palmetto Health System