HIBBING — Healthcare isn’t as simple as walking into the clinic for an appointment.

For many, care can require multiple providers at various locations.

To assist patients in navigating “the healthcare maze,” Fairview Range has added to its healthcare mission by now offering care coordination services.

“It can be difficult to understand and navigate the healthcare system. Some patients see multiple providers or specialists, “ said Colleen Pucely, a registered nurse at Fairview Mesaba Clinic. “Many patients, in addition to needing help with communication with providers, also need help navigating aspects such as insurance or managing to help pay for ever-growing healthcare costs.”

The goal of the care coordination program is to help a patient navigate the system and understand how to best meet his or her needs, she added. Another aim is to promote a coordinated transition of care between all sources of care, including hospitals, clinics nursing homes or home care.

Care coordinators work with healthcare providers to offer personalized services for each patient. Using a team approach, they assist in connecting patients to medical services and community services best suited to one’s health needs.

“Fairview Range is very excited to be providing this valuable team-based service to our patients,” said Jackie Haigh, manager of Fairview Mesaba Clinics in Hibbing, Nashwauk and Mountain-Iron, in a release. “By successfully guiding them through their healthcare process, Fairview Range can simplify the experience for our patients and focus on their individual health goals and needs.”

The time is right for services like these to be included in the clinics’ mission.

“With our aging population, there are increasing numbers of people living with chronic illness, and there are a large amount of people needing assistance to navigate the healthcare system,” Pucely said. “They need direction on how to care for themselves and to help find community resources to best manage their physical, emotional and psychosocial needs.”

With a coordination team, not only will navigation of healthcare needs become simplified, but problems should be identified and treated as they arise.

“Education is the key to helping prevent and/or manage chronic diseases,” said Pucely. “Increased contact by clinical staff will help identify problems and/or symptoms early to aide in early treatment of problems.”

To connect with a Care Coordinator, contact your healthcare provider or call 218-362-6684.

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