Navigating Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancer Patients in a Multidisciplinary Cancer Center

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In multidisciplinary settings, a streamlined referral processes can help eliminate barriers to good patient care.
In multidisciplinary settings, a streamlined referral processes can help eliminate barriers to good patient care.
The following article features coverage from the 2017 ONA Navigation Summit in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor's conference coverage. 

NYU-Winthrop Hospital is a regional center with expertise in treating colorectal and pancreatic cancer that maximizes outcomes for patients to maintain the best possible quality of life by giving patients access to the newest drugs through clinical trials, access to a nurse navigator, and access to genetic testing and counseling for at-risk individuals. The mission of the cancer program is to be a center of excellence dedicated to decreasing the burden of colorectal and pancreatic cancer by delivering outstanding medical care, pioneering prevention and early detection techniques, educating patients and clinicians and training physicians to become experts in the treatment of these cancers with the goal of making these diseases more controllable. 

NYU-Winthrop Hospital is one of the first hospitals on Long Island to formalize an oncology nurse navigation program. Staffing it with registered nurses who possess an expertise in cancer care, maintain program excellence, and adhere to Oncology Nursing Society practice standards.   At NYU-Winthrop Hospital today there are 5 oncology nurse navigators (ONN) and 2 cancer screening coordinators. The ONNs work within a multidisciplinary team of health care providers and guide patients with cancer throughout the health system with the goal of removing any barriers to care. By doing so, they ensure patients with a cancer diagnosis attain their treatment plan in a timely manner. 

The role of the ONN is evolving as the health care delivery system continues to undergo major changes. By identifying incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for colorectal and pancreatic cancer in our communities, nurse navigators can develop screening and prevention programs to better serve these populations and help patients by understanding diagnosis, staging, and treatment options to allow for proper patient guidance and management. In our multidisciplinary setting, a streamlined referral processes is key to the removal of actual and potential barriers to patient care.

NYU-Winthrop Hospital is an accredited cancer center by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer (CoC) receiving its most recent accreditation commendation in 2016. A component of the CoC accreditation process is the voluntary participation in the Cancer Profile Practice reporting (CP3R) database. There are accountability and quality improvement measures approved by the CoC that NYU-Winthrop Hospital participates in. These evidence-based measures or accountability measures promote improvements in care delivery and are the highest standard for measuring quality of care and demonstrate provider accountability, influence payment for services, and promote transparency. The quality improvement measures function to monitor the need for quality improvement or remediation. In addition, NYU-Winthrop Hospital participates in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database (NSQIP). Winthrop shares their surgical outcome data with the NSQIP database to compare themselves against 880 different comparable medical centers nationwide to assess risk adjusted surgical outcomes in 14 different categories. As a patient satisfaction indicator, the oncology nurse navigators developed a survey tool to better assess their patient needs specific to diagnosis. 

These national benchmarks and quality indicator tools answer the “how are we doing” questions to further enhance our strengths and evaluate the challenges within our program to not only meet, but exceed expectations for our patients and the community which we serve.

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor's coverage of the 2017 ONA Navigation Summit by visiting the conference page.

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