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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.

Following decades of research demonstrating the efficacy of patient navigation on clinical and patient-reported outcomes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that pays for patient navigation and navigation-related services effective January 1, 2024. Review a description of the codes, how to use them, who can perform services, and next steps for the field.


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

From Oncology Issues

  •  Collaborative Care: A Model for Embedding Counseling in Oncology and Palliative Care
    By Earon Lehning
    Embedding counseling services into oncology and palliative care across 6 clinic locations landed this program a 2023 ACCC Innovator Award. Learn how this model allows patients to receive psychosocial care from treatment through survivorship.
  •  A Model for Demonstrating Sustainable Outreach for Cancer Screening
    By Jamie Ries and Michael Gieske
    Discover how St. Elizabeth Cancer Center launched a comprehensive program to perform outreach to patients with outstanding orders for lung, breast, and colon cancer screenings.
  •  Multidisciplinary Approaches to Addressing the Needs of Patients with Gynecologic Cancers A Call-to-Action Summit
    Highlights from an Association of Cancer Care Centers Gynecologic Oncology Summit in Chicago, Illinois, on September 27, 2023.
  •  Views: Improving Access to Patient Navigation for Spanish-Speaking Patients
    By Julie Mcmahon
    Discover how the Susan G. Komen’s Patient Care Center has been able to improve the accessibility for Spanish-speaking patients by bolstering their team of bilingual staff and leveraging technology.
  •  Pioneering a Cancer Program for the Future
    By Monica Denault, Lili Hay, Matt Sturm, and Jessica Turgon
    Explore 4 pillars for creating a differentiated patient experience through performance and service line optimization to increase patient access, implementation of system-wide navigation services, and more.
  •  Views: The Impact and Importance of a Care Coordinator in Community Oncology
    By Wendy Collins
    The importance of care coordination in managing the adverse effects of cancer treatment and navigating patient challenges such as emotional distress, isolation, financial toxicity, and lower quality of life.
  •  Navigation: A Critical Component in a Comprehensive Approach to Dismantling Health Inequities
    By Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators Leadership Council
    Learn about the critical role patient navigation plays in identifying, addressing, and dismantling health inequities across the cancer care continuum.
  •  Developing a Disease-Site Specific Oncology Patient Navigation Program
    By Stephanie Bonfilio
    Based on the understanding that patients diagnosed with cancer need unique support and resources, this community-based cancer program implemented and grew a disease-site specific oncology patient navigation program.
  •  The Need for an Equitable Cancer Care Delivery System
    By Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA
    Despite scientific and medical advances, the incidence and mortality rates of cancer remain disproportionately high among certain populations. Understanding this, combatting the inequities that exist will be key to delivering next generation cancer care.
  •  Collaborative Care: A Solution for Increasing Access to Psychosocial Care in Cancer Programs and Practices
    By Carrie C. Wu, MD, et al.
    The Collaborative Care Model uses the stepped care approach, enabling a flexible and personalized treatment approach that aligns with each patient’s specific needs.
  •  Increasing Clinical Trial Accrual Through the Implementation of a Clinical Trials Navigator
    By Alexander Spira, MD, PhD, et al.
    Virginia Cancer Research Institute successfully implemented a cutting-edge clinical trials navigation program that improved the patient and provider experience and demonstrated a significant return on investment.
  •  The ACCC 49th Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit
    Highlights from the ACCC 49th Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit.
  •  Delivery of Psychosocial Cancer Centers Care in Oncology Summit
    Backed by strategic partnerships, ACCC held a multistakeholder meeting focused on exploring the current state of psychosocial support in oncology.
  •  An Interprofessional EHR Collaboration Optimizes Oncology Navigation Efficiency and Value
    By Lauri Ledbeter, Whitney Daws, Lindsay Shimizu and Rebekah Hart
    The interdisciplinary team at Providence Health & Services leveraged its electronic health record to improve the efficiency, transparency, and productivity of their oncology navigation program.
  •  Addressing Social Determinants of Health through a Medical-Legal Partnership
    Allison L. Held and Molly Hunold
    Through a collaboration between legal and healthcare professionals, this Virginia based medical-legal partnership assists patients with cancer resolve social and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.
  •  Calm Minds and Grateful Hearts
    Chidi Ike
    An interview with Kathyrn Smolinski, MSW, JD on the development and implementation of the medical-legal partnership between Wayne State University Law School and the Karmanos Cancer Institute.
  •  Developing a Health Literacy and Clear Communication e-Course
    ACCC’s online course provides cancer care team members with the tools needed to be clear and concise in communication with patients, build awareness and skills regarding health literacy, and improve health equity.
  •  Bringing Health Equity to the Forefront
    Mark Liu, MHA
    Following the disparate outcomes of the COVID-19, combatting the inequities that exist within the American healthcare system remains a key objective of ACCC.
  •  Remote Patient Monitoring and Health Equity
    By David R. Penberthy, MD, MBA
    Amid the implementation of technological solutions such as remote patient monitoring in cancer care, it is important that all patients with cancer—regardless of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status—benefit equitably.
  • Spotlight: St. Anthony Regional Cancer Center, Carroll, Iowa
  • Population Health Navigators: An Innovative Approach for Supporting Underserved Patients
    Carla Strom, MLA
    A trailblazing Winston-Salem based cancer center successfully created and developed the role of a population health navigator to address the unique needs of various underserved communities.
  •  Changing the Tune for CAR T-Cell Therapy
    Brittney M. Baer, BSN, RN, and Nancy C. Long, MSN, AGACNP-BC
    Learn how Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tenn. has been using monitoring devices for patients undergoing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Thanks to this technology, these high-risk patients can be remotely monitored 24/7.
  •  Pre- and Post-treatment Clinic: Providing Psychosocial Care from Diagnosis to Survivorship
    Jennifer Hancock, PSYD, and Carrie Wines-Larch, BSN, RN, ONN-CG
    Charleston Area Medical Center Cancer Center is the largest cancer program in Southern West Virginia. The cancer center opened a new treatment clinic to offer pre- and post-treatment visits to better help patients navigate their cancer journey.
  •  Spotlight: Logan Health, Logan Health Cancer Program, Kalispell, Montana
    An article spotlighting Logan Health, Logan Health Cancer Program, Kalispell, Montana.
  •  Tools
  •  Improving Cancer Care Teamwork
    Elizabeth H. Lazzara, Joseph R. Keebler, Logan M. Gisick, Kimberly N. Williams, Stephanie Zajac, and Jillian Gunther
    The absence of an optimal cancer care coordination model coupled with the vast network of providers involved in cancer care, necessitates the implementation of key strategies to strengthen care coordination.
  •  All of Me: Bridging the Sexual Health Communication Gap in Cancer Care
    By Maddelynne Parker
    Cancer and its treatment impact patients in many ways, beginning before a diagnosis and lasting long through survivorship, including one's sexual health. All of Me was created to bridge this communication gap between patients and providers.
  •  ACCC 2021 Financial Advocacy Network Summit
  •  Living Well After Cancer
    By Gabrielle Riazi, Mike Alpert, Sarah Flores, Danielle Kline, Haley Allen, Aditi Vyas, Denise Johnson, and Jessica Clague DeHart
    This pilot study aimed to determine the efficacy of a community-based wellness program offered to patients outside of the clinical setting.
  •  Coping with COVID-19 in Patients with Lung Cancer
    Elizabeth S. Ver Hoeve, Sarah N. Price, Tara K. Torres, Heidi A. Hamann, and Linda L. Garland
    This study examined the coping strategies and psychosocial well-being of patients with lung cancer facing multiple stressors, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  •  Delivering Hospital Level Acute Care at Home Learning from Huntsman at Home
    By Amanda Patton
    This program delivers intensive hospital-level care to eligible patients in their own homes through a care team that includes oncology nurse practitioners, home health registered nurses, and allied healthcare staff.
  •  Views: Fertility Preservation for Women with Cancer
    James Grifo, MD, PHD
    Advancements in reproductive science has provided more options for women to take greater control of their reproductive future.
  •  Data Analytics + Business Intelligence = Operations Insights
    By Amanda Patton
    Kim Woofter, the executive Vice President of Strategic Alliances, AC3, discusses the rewards of incorporating data analytics into the business of oncology, as a tool for improving billing and revenue cycle management and optimizing care.
  •  An APP-Physician Model Improves Risk Stratification and Palliative Care
    By Jia Conway, DNP, CRNP, AOCNP
    Cancer Care Associates of York, implemented an autonomous APP model of care designed to allow these clinicians to work at the top of their license, facilitate effective physician and APP partnerships, and improve overall patient satisfaction.
  •  Genetic Counseling Referrals Among Cancer Registry Patients Who Meet NCCN Guidelines: An Ohio Study
    By Lindsey Byrne, et al.
    A multicentered study based in Ohio measured genetic counseling referrals for patients with cancer.
  •  Spotlight: Tennessee Oncology, Tennessee
    Tennessee Oncology is a physician-led private oncology practice based in Nashville, with 32 clinic locations across the state and one in northern Georgia- offering medical and radiation oncology, imaging, and lab services.
  •  A Multidisciplinary Consortium to Advance Counseling in Oncology
    The Iowa Oncology Society launched an educational project designed to spark conversations, and raise awareness about the importance of genetic testing, counseling, and screening.
  •  Technology Solutions in Practice
    By Sibel Blau, MD
    The successful deployment of technology in cancer practices, promises to improve the quality of patient care and the patient experience, while also alleviating excessive burdens on clinicians and staff.
  •  Views: Introducing the New Digital ACCC Patient Assistance & Reimbursement Guide
    By Jordan Karwedsky
    The ACCC Patient Assistance & Reimbursement Guide is an interactive and fully digital tool, patients, health care providers and members of the multidisciplinary oncology care team can access to help find and apply for financial assistance.
  •  Holy Smokes! Developing a Cannabis Clinic for Patients with Cancer
    By Sarah Jax, Katherine Schmiechen, and Dylan M. Zylla
    The HealthPartners Frauenshuh Cancer Center has safely incorporated cannabis in the treatment of patients with cancer.
  •  Making the Business Case for Hiring an Oncology Pharmacist
    By Olalekan Ajayi, et al.
    With an aging U.S. population and a projected shortage of medical oncologists, oncology pharmacists and the critical support they provide in the management of patient symptoms and comorbidities is more important than ever.
  •  Remote Home Monitoring of Patients with Cancer During the COVID 19 Pandemic
    By Mary Steimer, et al.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has created a necessity for the incorporation of remote home monitoring for cancer patients, in order to maintain the health of both the patient and the health care workers who aid them.
  •  A Model Telehealth Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program
    By Amanda Parkes, MD, et al.
    The overall cancer rate among adolescents and young adults is on a gradual increase, thus creating the need for oncology programs geared towards young adults and adolescents.
  •  Quality Improvement Officers Key Members of the Multidisciplinary Cancer Care Team
    By Penny D. March, PSYD
    The overall aim of quality improvement in healthcare is to deliver high-quality care to patients through a well-managed, high-functioning system aimed at improving the overall quality of life in the general population.
  •  Filling the Gap APP Utilization to Meet Care Needs in Oncology
    By Ellen R. Miller, MSN, et al.
    Cancer prevalence is increasing, and there is a gap between the growing number of patients and the number of oncology providers. Effective use of advanced practice providers (APPs) can help bridge this care gap.
  •  Technology and Cancer Care
    By David R. Penberthy, MD, MBA
    As technological innovation expands, it is important that cancer care finds ways to incorporate new technology that will make life easier for both the patient and healthcare provider- as well as create increasingly efficient cancer care.
  •  Congress Extends Access to Telehealth and Funds Cancer Research
    By Matt Devino, MPH
    A $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package for fiscal year 2022 was passed with broad bipartisan support in Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022.
  •  Development of a Virtual Integrative Oncology Center
    Alissa Huston, MD
    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilmot Cancer Institute's integrative oncology team shares how integrative oncology-based services can be delivered via telehealth.
  •  Deconstructing the Meaning of Multidisciplinary Cancer Care
    Victoria A. Rendell, MD, et al.
    As part of the conversation regarding the optimal restructuring of multidisciplinary cancer care clinics, the authors developed a quality improvement project focused on understanding how patients view multidisciplinary cancer care.
  •  Implementing an e-Advisory Council in the COVID-19 Era
    Julie Bulger
    When the COVID-19 public health emergency heightened, everyone’s priorities shifted and the Patient and Family Advisory Council moved to the virtual space.
  •  Patients with Cancer, Comorbidities, and No Primary Care Provider
    Debra Delaney, MSN, FNP-BC, et al.
    Embedding a primary care provider in oncology helps on program soar to new heights.
  •  Integrating Spiritual Care in the Outpatient Oncology Setting
    Alison Snow, PhD, et al.
    Spiritual care providers support the religious and spiritual needs of patients and their caregivers.
  •  A Digital Population Tracking System Helps Improve Colorectal Cancer Survivorship Services
    Raymond Liu, MD, et al.
    An integrated precision tracking program ensures proper follow-up care and surveillance for survivors of colorectal cancer.
  •  Implementing a Hematology-Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
    Heather Jackson, PhD, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, et al.
    Oncology nurse practitioners (NPs) can help improve patient satisfaction and treatment compliance rates. Learn how this fellowship prepares non-specialized NPs to excel in oncology using an innovative curriculum and clinical immersion.
  •  Rapid Practice Change During COVID-19 Leads to Enduring Innovations and Expansion of Integrative Oncology Services
    Danielle Gentile, PhD, et al.
    This cancer program continues to meet patients’ psychosocial needs through enduring telehealth expansion, livestream groups and classes, and on-demand digital repositories.
  •  A Focus on APPs
    Sibel Blau, MD
    While the number of oncology patients and survivors is increasing, the growth of medical oncologists has lagged behind, and advanced practice providers (APPs) play a critical role in filling this care gap.
  •  A Framework for Defining High Quality Care for Patients with NSCLC
    Mark A. Socinski, MD, and Leigh M. Boehmer, PharmD, BCOP
    An expert ACCC Steering Committee shares 32 informed treatment and care delivery recommendations for the ideal care of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
  •  Improving Care Coordination for Advanced NSCLC
    Michelle Schiller, DO, AP/CP, MGP, et al.
    There remains an overarching need to identify and provide guidance on key issues related to the optimal care of patients with NSCLC across different community cancer programs/settings in the U.S. To address this need, a multiphase project was implemented by ACCC and its partner organizations, with the main goal being to support the optimization of care for patients diagnosed with stage III and IV NSCLC.
  •  Cancer Care from the Comfort of Your Car
    Barbara A. Gabriel, MA
    Moffitt’s Curbside Clinic gives patients another option for accessing care.
  •  Tailoring Distress Screening in Oncology Populations
    Laura Melton, PhD, ABPP, et al.
    Because interdisciplinary teams become specialists in treating certain disease sites, it is important to develop distress screening guidelines that best serve specific patient populations and their treatment.
  •  Integrating Prehabilitation, Rehabilitation, and Prospective Surveillance into Cancer Interdisciplinary Teams
    Christopher M. Wilson, PT, DPT, DSCPT, et al.
    Strategically leveraging the unique skills of the entire interdisciplinary team, including rehabilitation professionals, can help improve quality of life before, during, and after cancer treatment. Specifically, licensed healthcare providers, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists, can help mitigate the side effects of cancer or its treatments.
  •  Center for Indigenous Cancer Research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Amanda Patton, MA
    One important step toward supporting the health of Indigenous Peoples was the opening of the Center for Indigenous Cancer Research (CICR) at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in January 2020. Its mission: to reduce the impact of cancer on Indigenous communities regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  •  A Nurse Navigator Led Community-Based Cardio-Oncology Clinic
    Rachel Zirkelback, BA, et al.
    Dr. Vijay Rao and Dr. Eric Stephen Rubenstein returned from a Global Cardio-Oncology Society meeting g with the realization that they could do much more to protect patients with cancer from potential cardiac toxicity of chemotherapy. The two shared one goal: to prevent the cancer survivor of today from becoming the heart failure patient of tomorrow.
  •  An Optimal Care Coordination Model for Medicaid Patients with Lung Cancer: Results from Beta Model Testing
    Matthew P. Smeltzer, PhD, MSTAT, et al.
    In 2016, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) initiated a three-year multiphase project to develop an Optimal Care Coordination Model (OCCM) for Medicaid patients with lung cancer that would help assess and strengthen care delivery systems by facilitating and expanding access to multidisciplinary coordinated care.
  •  The Evolving Immunotherapeutic Landscape in Renal Cell Carcinoma
    Robert A. Figlin, MD, FACP; Jocelyn Mohs, PharmD, BCOP; and Laura S. Wood, RN, MSN, OCN
    In 2019 the Association of Community Cancer Centers developed an education program to provide all members of the multidisciplinary care team knowledge and resources to help successfully integrate immunotherapies into the treatment of patients with RCC.
  •  An Optimal Care Coordination Model for Medicaid Patients with Lung Cancer: Rationale, Development, and Design
    Randall A. Oyer, MD, et al.
    The OCCM was designed to be a usable framework that offers lung cancer programs, regardless of setting, size, and resource level, and the flexibility to conduct continuous assessments of care coordination practices and measure strengths and opportunities in the pursuit of optimal patient outcomes.
  •  Management of Hospital Admissions for Checkpoint Inhibitor Immune-Related Adverse Events at a Regional Cancer Center
    Andrew Li, PharmD, and Michela Altergott, PharmD
    With the rise of immunotherapies, it is critical to ensure patient safety, as the toxicity profiles of immunotherapy agents are vastly different from traditional cytotoxic chemotherapies.
  •  Avoidable and Unavoidable ER Utilization by Cancer Patients on Systemic Therapy
    Leonard R. Henry, et al.
    In the current transition to value-based care, avoidable ER utilization represents an opportunity for cost savings, but difficulties remain in determining what visits are and are not avoidable based on coding and billing data alone.
  •  Expanding Patient Access to Cancer Care Services
    Kelley D. Simpson, MBA; Stacy Melvin, MHA; and Sue Fletcher, RN
    Key results from a national survey show a range of new initiatives.
  •  After the Outbreak: Preparing for the Return of Cancer Cases
    Matthew Strum, MBA, and Jessica Turgon, MBA
    Cancer programs are facing multiple challenges related to treating patients in a COVID-19 environment. Cancer programs need to deploy systems and processes to help navigate these patients into the healthcare system and to work through the backlog of new patients with cancer as quickly as possible within existing resources.
  •  Views: Helping Patients Access Free Mobile Phones and Cell Service
    Amy Elgin
    Our only means of contact with a patients was through his friend who lived near the abandoned house the patient stayed in and who could take his phone to the patient if needed. After a quick search online, I found two websites that offered cell phones to low-income patients at little to no cost to them.
  •  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.
  •  Implementing and Evaluating an Online Educational Resource for Veterans with Cancer
    Cheryl Booth, RN, MSN, NP-C, AOCNP, AND Gwendolyn Hooper, PhD, RN, FNP, APRN-BC
    One VA Center improved patient education by developing an online resource for veterans with cancer. Although several barriers emerged during this quality improvement process, the VA Center was able to meet its patients needs and decrease their anxiety.
  •  Going the Distance Bringing Cancer Care to the Navajo Nation
    Amy Hindman
    When people are diagnosed with cancer on the Navajo Nation—a 27,000-square-mile expanse of land that extends into Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico—many of them must travel hundreds of miles to receive even the most basic cancer treatment. Now, a small team of community leaders and national experts are working to change the situation.
  •  Utilizing Scribes to Improve Patient-Centered Care and Efficiency and Reduce Burnout
    By Amy Hindman
    More oncology programs across the country are hiring scribes in their practices to improve patient-centered care, reduce physician burnout, and create administrative efficiencies.
  •  The Oncology Pharmacy Navigator
    Rice K, et al.
    Patients with cancer experience a variety of difficulties in accessing and managing their medications. The Legacy Health Cancer Institute established an oncology pharmacy navigator to decrease barriers to patient access, reconcile medication lists, and alleviate the financial burden of cancer care.
  •  Elevating Survivorship: Results from Two National Surveys
    In order to explore experiences and needs concerning cancer survivorship from both the provider and the patient perspectives, ACCC and NCCS partnered to field two online surveys to oncology providers and cancer survivors, respectively.
  •  Supportive Care Just When Patients Need It
    By Tina Curtis, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, and Elizabeth Malosh, MSN, RN, NE-BC
    For patients with cancer experiencing symptoms outside of business hours or when same-day appointments are unavailable, the usual options are to wait until the next day or visit the emergency department (ED). However, ED visits come with clinical and financial risks for oncology patients. Read how The Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital developed a 24-hour urgent care oncology clinic to reduce ED use, eliminate redundant services, and alleviate financial burden.
  •  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.
  •  Technology Unlocks Untapped Potential in a Financial Navigation Program
    By Clara Lambert, BBA, OPN-CG; Scott Legleitner, BA, LPhT, SST; and Kathleen LaRaia
    While financial navigation programs ease the burden of financial toxicity on patients with cancer and help healthcare organizations with revenue loss, the manual nature of the process is challenging for navigators and financial advocates. Cowell Family Cancer Center piloted a financial navigation software program to analyze the effects of automation on productivity, workflow, and organizational alignment.
  •  Bridging the Oncology Practice Gap
    By Monica Key, DNP, BSB-M, ANP-C, APRN, AOCNP
    Advanced practice providers entering the oncology workforce need more than graduation from an advanced practice program; formal training is necessary. Norton Healthcare began a continuous QI initiative to enhance existing orientation processes for closing this practice gap.
  •  Wheels Up: Bringing Lung Cancer Education and Screening to Rural Patients
    Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, FACP, FRACP, FASCO; Mellisa Wheeler, BSW, MHA; Darcy Doege, RN, BSN; and Jen Tota McGivney, MA
    Lung cancer screenings are more effective and more affordable than ever before, but patient access still poses significant hurdles. Read how Levine Cancer Institute’s mobile lung LDCT unit brings lung screenings to underserved communities.
  •  The SCOOP Program
    Christopher Koprowski, MD, MBA; Edith J. Johnson, PhD, MBA; Karen Sites, BSN, RN, OCN; and Nicholas Petrelli, MD
    The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute implemented the Supportive Care of Oncology Patients (SCOOP) Program, which developed and implemented a clinical pathway that improved the patient experience and reduced the cost of care in selective curative cases.
  •  Development of Care Pathways to Standardize and Optimally Integrate Multidisciplinary Care for Head and Neck Cancer
    Assuntina G. Sacco, Charles S. Coffey, Parag Sanghvi, Gloria P. Rubio, et al.
    The complexity of head and neck cancer management demands greater attention in order to provide high-quality care. UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center developed a well-defined care pathway to enable predictability and consistency in both care delivery and cost.
  •  Improving Fertility Preservation Discussions for Adolescent and Young Adult Male Oncology Patients
    Jacqueline N. Casillas; Roy L. Kao; Joshua Macadangdang; Emma Lidington; Melody S. Hsu; Hilary Gan; Gavin D. Roach; Shivani Upadhyay; Neha G. Vaghasia; Joanna J. Gell; Elizabeth A. Van Dyne; Ning Li; Grace Sund; Theodore B. Moore
    Fertility preservation is an increasing concern for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer. However, not all newly diagnosed males discuss fertility preservation with a healthcare provider before treatment. This quality improvement project describes the oncofertility program development that was part of a larger goal to develop an AYA oncology program at our institution, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Mattel Children’s Hospital.
  •  A Quality Initiative Improves the Treatment and Experience of Pediatric Radiation Oncology Patients
    By Rebecca Swanson, MSN, APRN; Debbie Wagers, MHA, CCLS; and Ann Yager, MHA, BS, RT(R)(T)
    Pediatric radiation oncology services are frequently housed in academic medical centers and referrals for therapy may come primarily from outside organizations. This quality improvement initiative highlights the importance of pediatric patient preparation and teaching, which ultimately leads to improved patient safety, a better experience for patients and caregivers, and better quality of life.
  •  Making the Case for an HIV Oncology Clinic
    By Marco A. Ruiz, MD
    Though the incidence of AIDS-defining cancers has decreased with the use of antiretroviral therapy, numerous studies suggest that non-AIDS-defining cancers (cancers not previously associated with HIV and AIDS) appear to be increasing in incidence.
  •  Patient Care Connect
    By Warren Smedley, MSHA, MSHQS, and Gabrielle B. Rocque, MD
    Though the concept of patient navigation is not new, the use of lay navigation teams across the continuum of a cancer journey is a novel approach to care coordination. Integrating lay navigators into the healthcare team empowers the clinical team to work at a higher level within the scope of their training.
  •  Drug-Specific Videos for Patient Chemotherapy Education
    Weese JL, et al.
    Long, written descriptions of chemotherapy and its side effects, particularly when prescribing multiple drugs, are often ignored by patients who are overwhelmed by their cancer diagnosis and treatment. From the perspective of the patients, it was clear that all patients needed basic information regarding chemotherapy, including how to react to different situations while on chemotherapy and specifics about the drugs they were going to receive.
  •  Designed for Success
    Jessa Dunivan and Sibel Blau, MD
    As the team of Northwest Medical Specialties discussed its approach to meeting OCM requirements, we realized that the program required rigor and processes like those found in clinical research programs, and an idea surfaced. Employing practices, procedures, and rules commonly used by those who work in a clinical research setting looked like a promising avenue for OCM implementation.
  •  Developing an Acuity Tool to Optimize Nurse Navigation Caseloads
    By Rev. Diane Baldwin, RN, OCN, CBCN, and Meredith Jones, MS, BSN, RN
    2017 ACCC Innovator Award winner Mitchell Cancer Institute developed a universal oncology nurse navigation acuity tool that measures 11 factors directly impacting the need for and level of navigation services, including staging and diagnosis, co-morbidities, hospitalizations, and family support.
  •  Breast Care ACCESS Project
    By Sharon Lieb Inzetta, RN, MS, CBCN, CN-BN, ONN-CG, and Laura L. Mussara, BS, MBA
    Through its Breast Care ACCESS Project, Summa Health redesigned its breast cancer care continuum to address disparities in treatment, reducing patient outmigration, increasing procedures and referrals, and lowering wait times.
  •  Creating a Place for Late-Stage Breast Cancer Patients
    Timothy J. Pluard, MD; Jane Peck; and Emily Kayrish
    Saint Luke’s Hospital’s Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer is one of the only centers in the United States dedicated solely to the comprehensive care of women with late-stage breast cancer.
  •  Closing the Loop with a Post-Biopsy Breast Clinic
    Kimberly C. Hutcherson, MD, and Katherine S. Michaud, MPA
    The Gwinnett Medical Center Breast Program Leadership Team saw an opportunity to create a more comprehensive diagnostic care pathway to include more timely results to breast biopsy patients, streamlined access to treatment specialists, and improved processes and communication with referring physicians.
  •  Patient-Centered Specialty Practice
    Susan van der Sommen, MHA, CMPE, FACHE
    Care coordination and communication between and among providers are among the core tenets of the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA’s) evaluation program for specialty practices: Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP).
  •  Catalyzing Patient-Centered Care—Start Where You Are and Share What You Know
    Pratt-Chapman, et al.
    Catalyzing Patient-Centered Care
  • Making the Case for Nurse Navigators
    Learn how HCA Virginia Health System implemented “entire continuum” oncology nurse navigation for breast cancer patients that improved patient and provider satisfaction, resulted in program growth.
  •  Oncology Nurse Navigators
    From the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators, a snapshot of navigators’ educational background, compensation, and day-to-day roles and responsibilities. (This article was published in 2013.)
  •  The NCCCP Patient Navigation Project
    From the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) learn about the role patient navigators can play in increasing clinical trial accrual.
  • Growing a Navigation Program: Using the NCCCP Navigation Assessment Tool
    This tool is intended to help cancer programs create a high-quality, patient-focused process that provides a return on investment (ROI). The tool presents the infrastructure and the basic building blocks for starting a patient navigation program, as well as a framework for cancer programs to set goals and benchmarks and to grow their navigation services.
  •  The Community Health Worker: A Cancer Program’s Role in Population Health Efforts
    Marla Moore, RN, BSN, MA; Rebecca Larson, BS; and Abhinav Chandra, MD
    In Arizona, Yuma Regional Medical Center Cancer Center leveraged the traditional Hispanic promotora, or community health worker, to reach high-risk and underserved populations.
  •  The Role of the Oral Oncology Nurse Navigator
    Mary K. Anderson, BSN, RN, OCN; Michael J. Reff, RPH, MBA; Rebecca S. McMahon, MHA, BSN, RN, OCN; and Deborah R. Walters, RN, OCN
    While oncology programs and practices must take into account numerous considerations when ramping up their oral chemotherapy services, this article focuses on one unique and very important role to facilitate this transition: the oral oncology nurse navigator.
  •  Improving Pain Management in Patients with Cancer
    Dylan Zylla, MD
    In June 2014 Park Nicollet Oncology Research and Health-Partners Institute, Minneapolis, Minn., implemented a quality improvement (QI) initiative aimed at improving pain management in patients with cancer.
  •  A Pathway for Identifying Women at Increased Risk for Breast Cancer and Providing Personalized Management and Risk Reduction
    S. Kate Hughes, MS, CGC
    In the summer of 2014 staff at the Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Cancer Center (NHDLD Cancer Center), Winston-Salem, N.C., developed a screening method aimed at detecting women in our community who are at increased risk for breast cancer.
  •  Bridging the Gap: Early Detection of Cancer for the Medically Underserved
    Renea Duffin, MPA
    Using two mobile medical clinics, Mary Bird Perkins delivers more than 7,000 free screenings annually for breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, and oral cavity cancers.
  •  Bridging the Gap from Inpatient to Outpatient Care
    Connie Savage, LPN
    In 2014 Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan looked to improve continuity of care—specifically patient transitions from the hospital inpatient to the outpatient setting.
  •  Prehab Improves Outcomes for Oncology Patients
    Messina Corder, MBA, BSN, RN, and Kathryn Duval, MS, CCC-SLP
    A focused prehabilitation (prehab) program couples physical therapy with holistic care that includes nutritional support, stress reduction strategies, and nurse navigator intervention. Integrating prehabilitation can not only improve patient outcomes post-surgery, it can also decrease hospital length of stay (LOS).
  •  A Community Comes Together to Help Patients with Cancer
    Patricia Inama Roda, MSN, BS, RN, and Jaime Fritchman, BS
    The Lancaster General Health Foundation has one fund that is devoted solely to supporting the financial needs of patients receiving treatment at the Cancer Institute: the Cancer Patient Support Fund.
  •  Start Small, Think Big!
    Melissa Cronn and Lorri Smith, RN, BSN
    As the healthcare payment landscape shifts from volume-based to value-based reimbursement, healthcare facilities need to look inward at their business performance to understand how to improve and adapt to this change.
  •  Building a Navigation and Psychosocial Support Program from the Ground Up
    Lori McNulty, RN, and Faye Flemming, RN, BSN, OCN
    At ACCC member Southside Regional Medical Center, an oncology nurse navigator heads up navigation and psychosocial services, including partnering with a local community agency to help meet high referral and patient demand.
  •  What Does a Patient Navigator Do?
    Mandi Pratt-Chapman, MA
    Read how GW Cancer Institute developed national, consensus-based core competencies for oncology patient navigators and a corresponding online training module to equip navigators with the knowledge and skills needed to perform their roles effectively and efficiently.
  •  Patient Navigation Metrics: Measuring the Impact of Your Patient Navigation Services
    Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN, and Jeremy Stapp, MBA
    It is incredibly important for managers and administrators to be able to report the true impact navigation programs have on cancer patients, as well as the cancer program.

From the ACCCBuzz Blog