Published on July 20, 2015

Emergency department offers nurse navigator support for seniors

Lindsay LionSeniors have always counted on Nazareth’s ED for emergency care.

And just last month, that care got even better.

That’s when the hospital welcomed a new team member, Lindsay Lion, BSN, RN, CEN—the first Emergency Department Senior Care Nurse Navigator in Northeast Philadelphia. Her mission is “to make sure patients 65 and older get the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” says Lion.

Bridging the gap

Lion works with seniors who are being discharged from the Emergency Department and are about to return home. In her role, she helps decide what continuing care each patient needs and makes sure her patients actually receive that care.

For example, Lion:

  • Calls doctors to schedule follow-up appointments
  • Helps ensure that seniors get their prescriptions filled
  • Arranges for equipment, such as walkers
  • Assists with insurance and benefits issues
  • Connects patients with resources such as Meals on Wheels and support groups
  • Links patients to home health services
  • Lion also calls each patient at home within 48 to 72 hours after they leave the hospital. She makes sure they understand their discharge instructions and answers any new questions.

“Going to the Emergency Department can be stressful,” says Kristen Gilmore, MSN, RN, CEN, Emergency Department Patient Care Manager. “And patients often miss what the doctor tells them.” Lion helps bridge that communication gap by helping educate patients about their conditions.

Having a nurse navigator also helps senior patients avoid having to return to the Emergency Department, Gilmore says. “We’re excited to be the first in our area to offer this service. It’s the start of something great for seniors.