Guest blogger, Karen A. Schwaderer, RN, BSN, OCN
Ask any patient who has been assisted by a Navigator and they will tout how much they love the Patient Navigator program. Ask any Patient Navigator and they can tell you wonderful stories of helping patients. But is that enough information to keep health care administrators buying into the concept of Patient Navigator programs. Unfortunately, as health care costs rise and reimbursement for services to health care systems becomes less, financial CEO’s look to downsize staff and cut services that they cannot see as revenue producing services. Unfortunately, for patients, Navigator services fit the bill. By keeping appropriate data, you may sustain your program beyond initial funding.
Tracking data is important for not only program evaluation but keeping the right kind of data can help administrators see the benefit of providing navigator services. Both qualitative and quantitative data is essential.
Patient satisfaction forms can elicit feedback about the program. Program procedures can be changed according to the scores received directly from patient opinions. While qualitative data is an effective method to assess program evaluation and whether your program is meeting the needs of the patient population, keeping quantitative data can be beneficial to support program continuation and evaluate cost effectiveness of the program. Examples of data that can support programs:
- Decreasing number of days from diagnosis to treatment
- Increasing patient volume
- Decreasing number of late stage of disease at diagnosis
- Decreasing outmigration of patient after abnormal finding and subsequent revenue generated by keeping patients in your facility
- Increasing number of patients who utilized your facility services based on Navigator services offered
- Number of referrals to outside agencies that assist patients in receiving treatment
- Type of barriers patients incur when receiving treatment
- Amount of time Navigators spend eliminating barriers
- Number of community events
It can be beneficial to examine quantitative data both pre Navigator services and post Navigator services. Once administrators have concrete data to see that patient approval is high, volume increases, time from abnormal finding to treatment decreases, they can realize the importance of Navigator programs.
You can also visit the Oncology Roundtable Advisory Board. Your institution must be a member of the Oncology Roundtable to access these resources.
Do you use other resources to address this issue or have thoughts about tracking data? Please log in to leave a comment.