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Full video text/transcript for "Swedish Digestive Health Network"

The Swedish Digestive Health Network is a group of physicians who have a dedicated interest in digestive diseases. We have eleven gastroenterologists and five nurse practitioners. Thoracic surgeons, colon/rectal surgeons, head and neck surgeons, weight loss surgeons, as well as nutritionists, hepatologists. Conditions that essentially go from the mouth all the way to the bottom end. Including the esophagus, the intestines, the liver. Tummy aches to pancreatic cancers.

Before the network existed, patients would be referred to a specific physician who then would have to decide, after meeting the patient, that the patient would need to come back and see another one of the specialists. And so the patient would have to make multiple trips back and forth to Swedish to see these number of individuals. Sometimes patients don't know what they need. They have a problem. They know it's digestive related. They don't know what kind of doctor would be the right one to take care of them.

The nurse navigator is a new initiative that is being put into place for the Digestive Health Network and it is intended to make the entry point for patients as easy and trouble free as possible. Swedish Digestive Health Network, how can we help you today? A patient can call us directly and describe his or her symptoms and the nurse navigator will help identify which specialist to start the workup and process with.

The patient's care is shared between the local physicians who are the primary care and/or referring physician with the network. Ultimately the patients will come here for some specialty treatment but they will go back and be cared for by their regular physician on an on-going basis.

I think the collaboration between physicians at Swedish is really quite remarkable. It's as simple as two physicians sitting down over a cup of coffee, looking at films, and finding out what needs to be done. It's also different visions that come together to make the care of the patient better. There's no reason that we can't have mutliple people collaborating to share information, share insight and experience to get the best outcomes for patients with complex digestive diseases.

What's new is just the process. What's not new is the doctors, the technology that we provide, the experience the patient gets.  What's new is how we get the patients in and how we interact together and how we interact with the physicians outside the network.