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Patient Navigation Improves Care, Collaboration and Communication

Centerpoint Medical Center December 10, 2014

Sarah Cannon offers a broad range of comprehensive cancer care services including research, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Core to our services are patient navigators, who are at the forefront of the Sarah Cannon care experience to ensure patients are supported through the entire care continuum. By guiding cancer patients with knowledgeable and supportive help, patient navigators improve care experiences, assist physicians and maintain quality outcomes. The Commission on Cancer will soon require patient navigation at all cancer institutions due to its clinical effectiveness.

Unique to Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health, our patient navigation program equips facilities with an organized infrastructure, software and data tools, as well as trained oncology nurses. Every affiliated Sarah Cannon market has placed this as a key cancer care component, and the enterprise anticipates employing approximately 100 RN patient navigators across all facilities by first quarter of 2015. Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health currently includes patient navigation for breast care, thoracic oncology and gastrointestinal oncology. Our patient navigators are all oncology-trained nurses with a specialty focus in their specific discipline.

Visit hcamidwest.com/cancer to learn more about our patient navigation program.

Streamlining the Care Continuum

Navigators work collaboratively with each patient and provide treatment plan guidance, patient and caregiver education, and psychosocial support. The navigators reduce care fragmentation that may inhibit patients from understanding therapies or services available to them. Navigators also work with physicians and office staff to answer patients’ questions, follow up on missed appointments and find resources. The navigators also initiate and support multidisciplinary conferences of physicians and other providers.

“Navigators help streamline patients through the care process. They understand what patients need-- when and where they need it,” said Leigh Jorgensen, RN, BSN, OCN, director, Sarah Cannon Navigation. “The program is extremely beneficial not only for the clinical experience, but for the personal one as well. The diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming. We want to ease our patient’s worries, fears and confusion in every way that we can.”

Currently, Sarah Cannon navigators assist patients affected by breast, lung or complex GI cancers, and are familiar with diseasespecific treatments and clinical trials. Through the patient navigation program, Sarah Cannon is gathering data to improve care delivery even more. “We are excited for the potential that our navigation platform presents us as we gain better insights to enhance our quality-based care and patient experiences,” said Darryl Nelson, MD, chief medical officer, HCA Midwest Health. “We are already seeing better care coordination and increased patient satisfaction as a result of the program.”

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