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Patient Navigation

The role of the patient navigator continues to evolve in tandem with the healthcare landscape’s emphasis on patient-centered, efficient, coordinated care.

In May 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published proceedings from a workshop held November 13-14, 2017, focused on improving the effectiveness of patient navigation in cancer care. Establishing Effective Patient Navigation Programs in Oncology addressed where patient navigation programs should be deployed in cancer care and which patients should be prioritized to receive navigation services when resources are limited. The workshop also discussed who should serve as navigators, the benefits of navigation, and current gaps in the evidence base. Access the proceedings.

Below are ACCC member-driven resources to help implement, assess, and expand patient navigation services.

Improving Care Delivery for Stages III and IV NSCLC

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is partnering with the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and the LUNGevity Foundation on a vital initiative to identify and provide guidance on key issues related to delivering optimal care for patients diagnosed with stages III or IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) across different practice settings. 

As a first step in this effort, we conducted a survey to better understand the barriers and operational challenges in providing care for this patient population. Survey questions addressed diagnosis, treatment, care coordination, and communication within the interdisciplinary team caring for patients with late-stage NSCLC.

Survey findings will help to inform the development of educational programs and resources to improve the diagnosis and management of patients with stages III and IV NSCLC. Results will be reported at an aggregate level to ensure confidentiality and anonymity.

From Oncology Issues

  • A Physician Champion Takes a Practice-Based Immunotherapy Program to the Next Level
    Tracy Virgilio, RN, MSN, OCN
    Early symptom management is key to improving quality of life for patients with cancer, and proactive monitoring delivers unparalleled survival advantage while decreasing emergency visits and admissions. However, immunotherapies require special attention and procedures. Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center earned a 2018 ACCC Innovator Award for their immunotherapy triage algorithms, which provide non-oncology physicians and nurses with the tools to manage IO patients and prevent unnecessary admissions.
  • Development of a Model Precision Cancer Therapies Program in a Community Setting
    Marc R. Matrana, MD, MS, FACP, and Julia L. Cook, PhD
    In Louisiana, cancer incidence and death rates are greater than the national average. However, access to early phase clinical trials was nearly impossible to find. 2018 ACCC Innovator Award winner Ochsner Health System partnered with the Translational Genomics Research institute to establish a dedicated center to that accelerated treatment development and expanded patient access to precision medicines.
  • One Best Practice: Streamlining Workflow, Unifying Staff, and Reducing Redundancy
    Elizabeth Koelker, MHA, FACHE
    When Kettering Health Network reorganized its operations by service lines, oncology had major problems—internal competition, communication deficits, inefficiencies, and a lack of infrastructure. Learn how Kettering united its oncology staff under “one best practice,” streamlined operations, increased patient volume, and decreased internal competition.
  • Views: The Breast Cancer School for Patients
    John Williams, MD
    Most healthcare facilities provide information online and offer handouts to patients at their facilities. I suggest that cancer programs, professional organizations, and physicians should pivot toward “teaching” patients how to obtain quality, cutting-edge care in their own communities. Specifically, our profession should engage patients with sophisticated video-based patient education. That is why I created the Breast Cancer School for Patients.
  • A Small, Island Community Hospital Removes Barriers to Lung Cancer Screening and Detection
    By Donna Delfera, RN; Micayla Albers; Lysle Ailstock, MD; and Charles Shelton, MD
    Because of its growing retirement-age population and its unique location on a barrier island, The Outer Banks Hospital saw patients with lung cancer presenting at too late a stage for curative treatment. Learn how the hospital created an LDCT program and partnered with local providers and community cancer centers to identify patients with lung cancer at an earlier stage.