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Diseases & Conditions

Streamlined Care for Digestive and Transplant Patients

By on 11/30/2018

Victor Navarro, MD

Patients with abdominal disorders will benefit from a streamlined model of care that has been instituted at Einstein Healthcare Network. The Divisions of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Transplantation have been combined to create efficiencies and better meet patient needs, according to Victor Navarro, MD, who oversees the reorganized department throughout the network.

The revamped Department of Digestive Disease and Transplantation enables patients to obtain services for these related disorders through the same providers, in the same place. The new department combines the Center for Advanced Liver Disease and Transplantation, the Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation program, and the Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The consolidation has created economies of staff and facilities that enabled Einstein to expand research and care for more patients. “The standardization has led to a more patient- and family-centered model of care, which maximizes efficiency, promotes cost savings and a better staff experience as well,” said Dr. Navarro, who co-chairs the department along with transplant surgeon Radi Zaki, MD.

The new department was modeled after a similar organization at the world-famous Cleveland Clinic, “where instead of care in silos, according to physicians, it’s bundled according to patients and their specific needs,” Dr. Navarro said.  “We have patients who very frequently have gastrointestinal as well as hepatic disease. They now can utilize combined resources of social workers, financial specialists, a pharmacist, an addictions counselor, and others.” The department also “shares and trains the same fellows” in the combined practice areas.

The revamp also has allowed the department to pursue research in gastroenterology and transplant by expanding the purview of the researcher director, Manisha Verma, MD, who formerly was devoted solely to hepatology.

Drs. Navarro and Verma are co-principal investigators in a $14 million study of palliative care delivery models for patients with end stage liver disease through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, based in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Navarro is also a principal investigator with the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network study. This study is focusing on liver injury linked to the use of medications and herbal or dietary supplements. It is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The consolidation of the divisions ends restrictive silos that complicated patient access to care, Dr. Navarro said. “It allows us to focus all resources entirely on the patient and family, as well as improve efficiency and reduce costs by sharing resources.”

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