As care coordination continues to gain acceptance, many organizations are choosing to support efforts in this area through the development of patient navigation programs.
Here are six new programs, ordered alphabetically, that launched in 2017. Note: If your organization started a navigation program in 2017 but is not included on this list, please email a summary about your program to email@example.com.
Dosher Memorial Hospital (Southport, N.C) — Dosher’s new program was launched specifically for total joint replacement patients. It centers around providing a “short, multi-faceted course that covers the important information necessary for the surgery, from preparing for the procedure at home, to what happens the day of the surgery, and what’s necessary for proper healing after release from the hospital.” Topics covered also include how to use a spirometer and information about where patients will undergo surgery. The program is led by Nurse Navigator Chelsea Cannon, RN.
Forrest General Hospital (Hattiesburg, Miss.) — In October, Forrest General announced the launch of its new patient navigation program as part of its services at the Forrest General Cancer Center. The program, overseen by Oncology Patient Navigator Ellen Holbrook, RN, provides what Forrest describes as “individualized, patient-centered care for cancer patients.”
Holbrook works to identify barriers to care and eliminate them through education and referrals to ancillary or community resources. In the announcement about the program’s launch, she said, “The goal of this program is to help guide patients and their loved ones through our complex healthcare system. I hope it will help them to become empowered and able to take control of their care through this whole experience.”
Frederick Regional Health System (Frederick, Md.) — In January, Frederick Regional announced the launch of a new medical oncology nurse navigator program. The program serves medical oncology, breast cancer, lung cancer — all newly diagnosed patients with cancer. Learn more in NurseNavigation.com’s coverage of the new program in this report.
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (Chapel Hill, N.C.) — UNC Lineberger was the recipient of a $600,000 grant to establish a multi-institutional lay patient navigation program. Its objective: improve cancer outcomes in North Carolina. The money is going toward implementing the UNC Lay Patient Navigation Program in 10 hospitals and cancer care facilities throughout the state. As a hospital announcement noted, the first program was to be operational in fall 2017, with all programs in place by the end of 2018.
West Virginia University Medicine-West Virginia University Hospitals (Morgantown, W.Va.) — Starting in July, nurse navigators were made available to WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals employees. As a hospital announcement noted, their use is intended to help the organization “quickly assess the appropriate level of care for each patient, while, at the same time, reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the emergency department, urgent care and other clinics.” Navigators are available by phone 24/7 to answer questions, offer advice, connect with providers, help schedule appointments, and, if necessary, advise patients to seek medical care.
Winthrop-University Hospital (Mineola, N.Y.) — Funded by a $75,000 grant, Winthrop’s patient navigation program helps underserved women navigate the health care system to complete breast screening. The services of a dedicated patient screening navigator come at no cost to patients, regardless of their insurance status. As a hospital announcement noted, these services include helping secure convenient screening appointments, assisting with overcoming barriers to care such (e.g., insurance and transportation issues), and assisting with the coordination of any follow-up appointments and support services required.