What best practices do you recommend for cancer centers to comply with the CoC standard for a patient navigation process?
The Standard 3.1 Patient Navigation Process focus is on the assessment of needs in the community. The assessment must be done every three years and should identify populations of need and resources available or completing care should be identified and addressed by the cancer program. The cancer committee defines the scope, selects appropriate tools to perform the needs assessment, and is involved in the assessment and evaluation results. Community needs assessment that are completed in collaboration with community organizations outside the facility are suggested. Collaboration with community organizations may be a way for a cancer program to effectively address resource gaps and barriers to care e.g. transportation services. Barriers to care may include patient-centered barriers, provider barriers or barriers that exist within the health system. Once barriers are identified, it is important for the cancer committee to begin to address them and to document the process for doing so. A patient navigator, care coordinator, nurse, or social worker may be designated to coordinate the activities needed to address resource gaps and barriers.