Patient Navigation Services
Patient navigation is a patient-centered activity that ensures that patients receive timely cancer screenings, treatment, and follow-up care by doing the following:
- Reducing the barriers for patients such as transportation;
- Facilitating the next steps in the patient’s health care ordered by the medical staff; and
- By providing emotional support to patients.
Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Programs (LCPCP) provide patient navigation services to all women with an abnormal breast screening in the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program. LCPCP also provides patient navigation for cancer treatment and survivors at the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans, LA. The treatment navigator has navigated over 650 patients over the past three years, providing valuable assistance to those most in need such as transportation assistance, prescription and medication assistance, and helping patients find other resources needed to get them to and through their cancer treatment.
Patient Navigation is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American College of Surgeons. The primary function of a patient navigator is to reduce patient barriers to care, ensuring timely access to care during diagnosis, treatment, and survival. The founding research on patient navigation demonstrated that 5-year survival rates among navigated versus non-navigated patients increased from 38% to 70%. Continued research further demonstrates the effectiveness of the intervention. (Freeman HP, 1989).
“I think whenever when I needed her (The Navigator), she was there for me. She solved my problems, whatever they were, she solved them, she was right there for me, and that is what I like.”
“Any information that I thought I might need to know, or any questions where I didn’t feel comfortable asking the doctor with me being a woman and him being a man, I would ask her (The Navigator) and maybe she would refer it to the doctor and then she would bring it back to me, so it was like somebody you can talk to, you can let your guard down, and say what you need to say and ask what you need to ask …”
“She (The Navigator) came in the day I met my oncologist and introduced herself. I was thinking, Oh, I’ve got family, I won’t need my patient navigator. I was wrong. I needed her, and I still need her today at times.”