Establishing effective patient navigation programs in oncology.


Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, Boston, MA, USA. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Recent advances in cancer treatment have resulted in greatly improved survival, and yet many patients in the USA have not benefited due to poor access to healthcare and difficulty accessing timely care across the cancer care continuum. Recognizing these issues and the need to facilitate discussions on how to improve navigation services for patients with cancer, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held a workshop entitled, "Establishing Effective Patient Navigation Programs in Oncology. The purpose of this manuscript is to disseminate the conclusions of this workshop while providing a clinically relevant review of patient navigation in oncology.
METHODS : Narrative literature review and summary of workshop discussions RESULTS: Patient navigation has been shown to be effective at improving outcomes throughout the spectrum of cancer care. Work remains to develop consensus on scope of practice and evaluation criteria and to align payment incentives and policy.
CONCLUSIONS : Patient navigation plays an essential role in overcoming patient- and system-level barriers to improve access to cancer care and outcomes for those most in need.


Cancer care barriers,Oncology,Patient navigation,

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