Samir Haydar, DO, MPH, helping a patient enroll in the navigatER app at Maine Medical Center
Six years ago, while waiting to sit down for brunch at a local restaurant, Samir Haydar, DO, MPH, attending Emergency Physician at Maine Medical Center (MMC), had an innovative idea. The hostess of the restaurant asked for his phone number upon arrival and said that he would be texted when his table was ready. While waiting, Samir thought, ‘Why don’t we have this in our emergency department?’
Samir, who has worked in the MMC emergency department (ED) for 14 years, knows firsthand that ED visits can be some of the scariest moments in patients’ lives. He realized that having an easy-to-use app similar to the restaurant’s reservation system could update patients in real time during their ED visit, helping them stay informed and reduce anxiety.
Samir set out to bring his idea to life. After connecting with healthcare solutions company cliexa, Inc., Samir soon had a working beta version of navigatER, a HIPAA-compliant smartphone or tablet app that allows for real-time updates to seamlessly notify patients of the clinical progress of their emergency visit and expected course of treatment. NavigatER directly interfaces with a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) and displays clinical information like lab results and diagnoses in a user-friendly format. The app also includes educational content developed by MMC medical students about common diagnoses to help patients understand their treatment after they leave the ED.
In 2021, Samir launched a patient pilot for navigatER at MMC with the support of the MaineHealth Information Services, Legal and Patient Experience teams. Initial patient feedback showed that eighty-four percent of patients found the app easy to use and seventy-four percent endorsed the educational material as helpful. In addition, in comparison to non-users of the app, patients who used navigatER were more likely to provide favorable responses on their post discharge patient experience surveys. Additionally, physicians noted that a patient’s use of navigatER did not add any extra steps to their clinical workflow.
“NavigatER has been a great way to keep loved ones informed of the patient’s progress, especially now during the pandemic, when they can’t accompany patients to the ER.”
— Samir Haydar, DO, MPH
Emergency Physician, Maine Medical Center
In spring 2021, Samir received financial support from the MaineHealth Innovation Ignite Fund to market and brand the app for potential rollout at other hospitals, bringing the innovation one step closer to commercialization and adoption in EDs across the country.
NavigatER is currently live and undergoing optimization during its second pilot at the MMC ED. Samir plans to expand navigatER to more locations with the MaineHealth system in the near future.
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Samir Haydar, DO, MPH
Maine Medical Center
MaineHealth Information Services Privacy & Security Team
MaineHealth Legal Affairs
MaineHealth Patient Experience