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Patient Navigator

Saint Joseph Cancer Resource Center is pleased to announce an exciting, new program in cancer care called patient navigation. Patient navigation is a patient support service in which trained people guide patients through the cancer care system. Often, patients face gaps in service as well as fragmented care. The navigator works to get rid of those barriers to help patients get the care they need. The program makes sure that all patients with suspicious findings receive information and assistance to help them obtain:

  • Follow-up care
  • Timely diagnosis
  • Treatment (if necessary)

This will make for better outcomes and greater patient satisfaction.

This program is on the cutting edge of health care initiatives. Increasingly, it is being developed and put in place across the country wherever cancer is:

  • Screened for
  • Diagnosed
  • Treated

Navigators assist patients by offering a broad array of services, including:

  • Helping to schedule and keep medical appointments
  • Arranging follow-up care
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance paperwork
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Helping to identify and obtain elder or child care or transportation

Pilot programs are being started around the country. The results shown to date support the use of patient navigation. Navigated patients:

  • Were more likely to obtain recommended breast biopsies (85.7% of navigated patients compared with 56.6% of non-navigated patients)
  • Had their biopsies completed in a more timely fashion - 71.4% of biopsies being completed before 4 weeks compared with 38.5% of non-navigated patients
  • Showed improvements in the stage of breast cancer at diagnosis and 5-year survival rates, after improved access to cancer screenings and initiation of a patient navigation program

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