The Role of Oncology Nursing Navigation Continues to Grow
Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) fill a critical, ever-growing role in cancer care settings across the country, providing patients with the resources, education, and care coordination they need to successfully navigate their cancer journey. By reducing barriers and burdens on patients and their caregivers, ONNs help lead patients from initial diagnosis, during treatment, into survivorship, and often through end-of-life care.
APRNs Bridge the Gap in Survivorship Care
As improved screening, diagnosis, and treatments lead to cancer’s classification as a chronic disease, people with cancer are surviving longer than ever before. However, with lengthened survival comes long-term physical and emotional symptoms and other sequelae that require ongoing surveillance and management. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are essential to delivering quality survivorship care.
CMS Releases Report on Oncology Care Model
The cost of cancer care and the quality of patient services has always been a top priority in health care. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center has been working to strengthen both elements of care. CMS, through its Oncology Care Model (OCM) division, works with cancer care providers to develop payment strategies and performance categories in treatment plans for patients with cancer.
Lay Patient Navigators Can Help Oncology Nurses Guide Patients Through Cancer Care
Even for medical professionals working in health care every day, the U.S. healthcare system can be incredibly complex. Understanding where to obtain information and how to connect patients to resources can be difficult. For patients, navigating their treatment journey can be—at times—downright impossible. Coordinating care for patients with cancer is a crucial component to successful outcomes and quality cancer care.
How ONS Supports Oncology Nurse Navigators in Care Coordination
When I worked in the clinical setting, like many of you, I guided patients through treatments, prepared them for managing their care at home, celebrated the completion of treatment, and grieved the deaths of many. I coordinated patients’ care.
How Oncology Nurse Navigation Contributes to Effective Care Coordination
Well-coordinated care by knowledgeable healthcare providers improves patient-centered care, supports shared decision making, reduces fragmentation of care, and decreases readmissions and emergency room visits. However, patients with complex care needs are often lost in the very systems designed to support them.
Patient-Provider Communication on Immunotherapy Can Be Improved
Guidelines regarding healthcare provider communication about immunotherapy do not currently exist. Researchers sought to determine patient and provider preferences for this type of information and to identify barriers to communication about immunotherapy. The study’s findings were presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.
How Can Oncology and ICU Nurses Work Together to Treat Critically Ill Patients With Cancer?
Nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU) generally see patients with cancer only when they are extremely sick—not throughout the extensive cancer journey they go through before they get to the ICU. Educating and familiarizing ourselves, as ICU nurses, with a patient’s oncology plan, goals, and history can improve overall care. Learning at which points in the process of cancer treatment certain issues are more likely to arise, such as tumor lysis syndrome during high-dose induction, when a patient is most likely to be neutropenic during a stem cell transplant, and other general facts about oncology, can help improve the care we give. It helps us understand our patients as a whole. The oncology population is a huge part of medical intensive care, and encouraging critical care nurses and oncology nurses to collaborate can help improve the continuity of care and eliminate errors in the ICU.
Organizations Define Care Coordination and Transition Management Nursing Roles
Each year, the ONS Board of Directors sponsors a session at the ONS Annual Congress on a particularly important, high-impact topic. During a session at the 42nd Annual Congress in Denver, CO, the leadership chose the up-and-coming nursing role of care coordination and transition management.
Program Improves Care and Decreases Costs for Patients With Cancer
The estimated cancer prevalence by age in the United States is expected to increase from 216 million in 1975 to 380 million in 2040. With older cancer survivors, the severity of disease and treatment will increase, and the physiologic effects of aging, such as pre-existing conditions and new-onset morbidity, will impact the level of care needed for older adults.
Patients Are Equally Satisfied With Phone Calls and In-Person Consultations Before Chemotherapy
Previous research has indicated that patient satisfaction is linked to time spent with a physician. However, long wait times and organizational issues in an outpatient setting may increase the need for alternative care models. In a study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting, researchers assessed the use of phone calls instead of a face-to-face consultation prior to chemotherapy (CT) and the effect on patient satisfaction and quality of life.
Up-Front Palliative Care Consultation Associated With Better Outcomes in Advanced Cancer
Optimal timing for the initiation of specialist palliative care has not been determined. In a study, researchers created a supportive oncology inpatient service that integrates up-front palliative care consultation for certain patients with advanced cancer and compared it to those receiving usual oncologic care with on-demand palliative care consultation. The study’s findings were presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Updated Competencies Outline Oncology Nurse Navigator Role From Novice to Expert
Based on the results of the oncology nurse navigator (ONN) role delineation survey and feedback from ONS membership, ONS evaluated and updated its ONN Core Competencies. Several significant changes were made.
How the Oncology Care Model Is Redefining Quality Care
Oncology institutions across the United States are implementing big change in the way nurses and physicians deliver care to patients with cancer. By highlighting quality care and smart spending, facilities are reimagining the way cancer is treated in America. New procedures, research, and technology have redefined the way cancer is treated, so a new system for delivery and reimbursement is vital to ensure that quality care can be delivered at a reasonable cost.
How Are We Creating a New Payment Model for Oncology Care?
Oncology care is a complex, expensive, and often-fragmented area of medicine. To understand the potential need for a new payment model in oncology care, a thorough evaluation of all the data was important. By reviewing the oncology literature associated with costs and quality, we discovered that there were wide variations in the costs associated with the treatment of advanced cancers, but little variation in the outcomes of patients. We also identified gaps in patient care that we thought could be improved.
The Impact of Comorbidities on Patient Care
More than ever before, oncology nurses are required to provide multifaceted care when it comes to managing patients with cancer. As the population of patients with cancer continues to age and cancer becomes more of a chronic condition, oncology nurses are seeing more patients who exhibit comorbidities during their cancer journey.
The Evolving Role of Oncology Nurse Navigators
Care coordination is an integral component of every oncology nurse’s job, but the specific role of oncology nurse navigator (ONN) was developed to help address certain barriers to care, including difficulty navigating the healthcare system, poor communication, and lack of resources.