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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.

Eliminating Precision Medicine Disparities

Identification of actionable biomarkers continues to drive application of precision medicine in oncology. For patients with lung cancer, molecularly targeted therapies based on expression of specific biomarkers may be potential treatment options. Only through biomarker testing can clinicians discover whether lung cancers have targetable biomarkers.

Despite increasing evidence supporting the role of biomarkers in treatment decision-making for patients with lung cancer, recent studies report that more than 70 percent of patients treated in the community do not receive biomarker testing as recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) clinical practice guidelines, and more than 50 percent of patients do not receive appropriate precision medicine therapies based on the test results. Among underserved patient populations, the gap is even wider. Analysis of CMS claims data has revealed that Medicaid patients are 40 percent less likely to get tested than patients with private health insurance and Medicaid patients are 30 percent less likely to receive targeted therapies after testing, compared to patients with private health insurance.
Learn More

From Oncology Issues

  •  Empowering Cancer Patients Using Integrative Medicine: A Novel Model for Breast Cancer Risk Modification
    Christina M. Bowen, MD; Robin Hearne, MS, RN; Caroline Dixon; and Charles H. Shelton, MD
    As a CoC-accredited critical access hospital—one of only about a dozen nationwide—The Outter Banks Hospital has developed a quality program with a focus on removing rurally linked barriers to care.
  •  Cancer Life reiMagined: The CaLM Model of Whole-Person Cancer Care
    Rebekkah M. Schear, et al.
    Co-designing a model with patients, survivors, and the community.
  •  The In-Betweeners: A Focus on Young Adults with Cancer
    Kristin S. Donahue, MSN, RN, OCN, et al.
    Our team of young adult administrators quietly agreed that we were not doing all that we could for our young adult cancer patients. This session was our call to action. When we returned to our program, our team pledged do more for this often forgotten about patient population—the In-Betweeners.
  •  Guided Patient Support: Helping Patients Navigate the Clinical, Psychosocial, and Financial Aspects of Cancer Care
    Jessica Sima, MSN, RN, ACM, et al.
    This innovative program provides coordinated whole-person care, ensuring that patients receive the support they need through psychosocial counseling, social support, rehabilitation services, financial counseling, nurse navigation, nutritional intervention, transportation assistance, physical therapy, tertiary care referrals, and medication assistance. The GPS approach helps the cancer care team proactively identify patient needs and prepare patients for treatment.
  •  Can You Hear Me Now?
    Kimberly Smith, MPHA
    After integrating voice recognition software with its EMR, Mount Sinai Health System reduced physician workload, improved patient care, and streamlined clinic workflow. Physicians and staff shared that this process improvement initiative also improved their well-being, freeing clinicians up to spend more time doing what they want to do—caring for patients.