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Article

Evaluation of a Patient Navigation Program

Catherine Koh
Joan M. Nelson
Paul F. Cook
CJON 2011, 15(1), 41-48 DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.41-48

This study examined the value and effectiveness of a patient navigation program in terms of timeliness of access to cancer care, resolution of barriers, and satisfaction in 55 patients over a six-month period. Although not statistically significant, the time interval between diagnostic biopsy to first consultation with a cancer specialist after program implementation was reduced from an average of 14.6 days to 12.8 days. The time interval between diagnostic biopsy to initiation of cancer treatment also was reduced from 30 days to 26.2 days (not statistically significant). In addition, 71% of patient barriers were resolved by the time treatment was initiated. Overall, patients were highly satisfied with their navigated care experience. Consistent evaluation and monitoring of quality-of-care indicators are critical to further develop the program and to direct resource allocation. Oncology nurses participating in patient navigation programs should be encouraged to evaluate their importance and impact in this developing concept. Nurses should seek roles that allow them to optimize the effective use of their specialized knowledge and skills to the benefit of patients along the cancer care continuum.

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