At Sarah Cannon Research Medical Center our patient navigators are oncology-trained nurses who work directly with patients to help guide them through their cancer journey. The navigator serves as a constant point of contact for the cancer patient to coordinate care, answer questions, and provide resources. Patient navigators often specialize in a certain type of cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer or colon cancer, to help survivors with their specific needs.
The Patient Navigator will provide assistance with:
- Navigating patients through their cancer journey from discovery through recovery
- Understanding diagnosis and available treatment options
- Understanding what resources are available and how to access them
- Connecting patients with outside resource centers such as the American Cancer Society, Gilda’s Club, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Cancer Action, and Susan G. Komen
- Providing educational materials
- Hosting interdisciplinary cancer case conferences to assure personalized cancer treatment for each patient
- Access to national clinical trials
We have formalized the navigation process to allow patient navigators to comprehensively manage a patient’s experience with cancer.
Our patient navigation system addresses the continuum of cancer care. The system is designed to support patient navigators in all phases of the treatment spectrum, addressing prevention, screening and early detection, diagnosis, treatment, palliative and supportive care. By tracking progress, providing check lists, facilitating communication and producing reminders, the system is a vital tool in the expansion of our capabilities and patient outcome success. This technology and our highly trained staff work together as a very sophisticated “buddy system” – partnered with patients, making sure that we exceed their expectations.
Studies have demonstrated the clinical benefits of patient navigation including:
- Increased screening rates
- Improved stage at diagnosis
- Reduced broken appointment rates and more timely follow up
- Improved patient satisfaction
The Sarah Cannon Patient Navigators are dedicated to improving communication and coordinating care with the entire healthcare team, including:
- Radiation Oncologists
- Physical Therapists
- Medical Oncologists
- Primary Care Physicians
- Genetic Counselors
- Lymphedema Therapists
- Social workers