Carolinas HealthCare System
Fall 2011

Creating a World-Class Patient Navigation Program

PATIENT NAVIGATION IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF establishing a nationally recognized cancer program. Patient navigators play a vital role in navigating cancer patients and their families throughout the continuum of care (see Figure 1). Earlier this year, Levine Cancer Institute formed an enterprise-wide Patient Navigation Work Group, comprising patient navigators, physicians, hospital administrators and cancer program directors

Goals of this team include:

  • identifying, sharing and deploying best practices in patient navigation and key metrics of success
  • addressing variances in roles and responsibilities of patient navigators
  • determining the expected minimum involvement of patient navigators from initial contact to transition to survivorship
  • evaluating necessary technology to ensure the program’s success
  • creating a Levine Cancer Institute Patient Navigator Academy

The team has accomplished several goals including the development of job descriptions for an oncology nurse navigator and director of patient navigation and establishing the Academy’s curriculum.

The Institute hosted its inaugural Patient Navigator Academy on Sept. 29–30, in Charlotte. The event established a baseline understanding for existing patient navigators within Carolinas HealthCare System.

Future academies will offer ongoing education for navigators and provide external training mechanisms to patient navigators in other hospitals. The team has a long-term goal of providing accreditation for oncology nurse navigation.

For more information, contact Rita Morris with CHS Management Company at 704-355-0392.



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