What is an OAB Navigator?
The OAB Navigator at The OAB Clinic in Chattanooga, Tennessee, serves a very unique and important role in the care of our incontinence patients. But before we describe that role, it may be helpful to first describe the obstacles many of our Overactive Bladder (OAB) patients faced before the arrival of our navigator. Only by seeing how far we have come are we able to appreciate how critical a role the OAB Navigator plays in the success of our patients.
Not so long ago, the majority of our OAB patients were frustrated by the obstacles they faced in seeking and receiving treatment for their bladder symptoms. One example I use frequently is the patient who might come back to clinic several weeks after starting a new medication. Some of those patients might return to tell us that they had stopped the new treatment due to side effects – sometimes only days after starting it. Think of the frustration of sitting at home for weeks without any treatment, waiting for your appointment so that you can tell us that the treatment we prescribed made you worse, not better. And for this privilege you often paid yet another co-pay! This kind of wasteful back and forth was standard before our OAB Navigator.
Today, that patient with intolerable side effects (and every other patient) receives a phone call about a week later from the navigator. If a different medication is needed or questions about side effects need to be answered, this is usually handled over the phone without the need for another visit (and another co-pay!). After 3-4 weeks, another phone call assesses how patients are responding to therapy. If changes need to be made, this can be done, again, by phone. It also allows us to anticipate your needs at the next visit, scheduling additional time or testing as needed.
The use of an OAB Navigator, has allowed us at The OAB Clinic to minimize the number of visits needed for you to reach your bladder goals. Through the navigator, we try to answer your questions when you have them, not weeks later at your next visit. OAB patients calling in with questions or concerns can directly reach the navigator, their own personal “concierge” through the journey to bladder health. Finally, the navigator allows us to anticipate your needs before your visit, so we can be prepared before you come. In one phrase: it allows us to be proactive not reactive.
Our OAB Navigator is one of the many ways we are striving at The OAB Clinic to provide the very best care for urinary incontinence. As a part of UT Erlanger Urology in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we are able to provide all of the resources that may be needed to care for urinary incontinence, no matter how complex. Please visit us or call at (423) 778-4OAB (4622) if we can help.
Colin M. Goudelocke, M.D. FPMRS