Susan Blue, President and CEO of Community Services Group—a provider of community-based mental health, intellectual, and developmental services throughout Pennsylvania—understands the power of collaboration in her field. The need for communication, collaboration, and coordination in the health care system led Susan to become a Council Member for the NavWell initiative, and create change in the community.
The coordination of care between behavioral health providers and physical health providers has been shown to be an effective approach to improving child and family outcomes. As a behavioral health provider, Susan has always looked for ways to integrate services with those offered by primary care practices. NavWell aims to be the solution for this search by diminishing the void that exists between providers in the community.
“NavWell represents a community wide effort that was spearheaded by Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation. I’m honored to be part of the council that is working together in an area where innovation is essential if we want to provide the best care possible to families in our community,” Susan explains.
So how exactly does NavWell work? NavWell is a flexible system built to assist primary care facilities and pediatric practices in the process of identifying behavioral health needs that families and children are presented with at the office. NavWell will target the specific problem areas of health, and in many cases determine the severity of the problem. Once the behavioral health target area has been identified, NavWell can provide decision support to the practitioner and referral support. NavWell has partnered with the local 211 database to help support the practitioner by pinpointing referral options which are predetermined to meet the child and family needs.
“A system like NavWell can and will have many different uses in a variety of treatment scenarios,” explains Susan. “Sometimes the point of first contact for the family will be at a primary care facility, but I am seeing more and more that there are other points of first contact that can be added to the value of the NavWell system.”
One of the other fundamental features about NavWell is the promotion of communication between physical health and behavioral health practitioners after a referral has been made to the behavioral health provider. For instance, families may agree to share important pieces of information about their treatment that helps to inform the other providers, schools, social services, and other members in the child’s ecosystem. NavWell creates a space for complete coordinated care.
NavWell works to improve coordinated care through collaboration and communication.
To learn more about the NavWell initiative, please visit lohf.org/navwell.