The City of Lakes Family Health Team is participating in a new study called Access to Resources in the Community or ARC. ARC is a randomized controlled trial with the goal of creating an efficient and accessible pathway from primary care to community resources. We are looking to see if having a Patient Navigator working within the practice will result in increased access to community resources among primary care patients. The Patient Navigator will offer patients assistance and support to address barriers to accessing recommended resources. Our providers deliver essential services that can help prevent the onset of disease and the deterioration of existing ones. There are numerous health and social services available to patients residing in our community that can help complement the services provided in primary care, and further support patients to achieve good health and wellbeing. Some of these resources include health promotion services or services that address the social barriers that patients may face and which can contribute to poor health. The Patient Navigator will help the patient identify the appropriate program in their community that can address a need identified by their provider. The Navigator will help patients assess and address potential social barriers that would prevent them from accessing the program (e.g., obtain transportation or translation services), and provide other support to enhance utilization as needed. The Patient Navigator will also facilitate information continuity between the community resources and the patient’s provider. To empower patients and to improve their self-efficacy for future needs, the navigator will also orient the patient to the Ontario 211 navigation services.
Members of our team receive an orientation from the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research team.