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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), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the LUNGevity Foundation on a national 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 the Fostering Excellence in Care and Outcomes for Patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC initiative, ACCC 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 locally advanced and late-stage NSCLC.

Informed by the survey results, the project’s Steering Committee will guide the selection of six cancer programs to serve as process improvement sites. Facilitated by ACCC, the six selected sites will create and execute process improvement models aimed at overcoming identified barriers to excellence in care for patients with these NSCLC stages. The models tested will be applicable across care settings. Results will be shared with the wider oncology community.

Learn More

From Oncology Issues

  •  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.
  •  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.