The main point of contact for oncology patients, potential oncology patients, their families and caregivers spanning the complete oncology spectrum (prevention and screening through survivorship). The navigator builds strong relationships with these customers in order to help them stay engaged in medical care and adhere to their plan of care. Navigators are committed to removing barriers to care by identifying critical resources for customers, helping them navigate through health care services and systems, and promoting good health. They will be an active member of the care team and will assist with providing education regarding diagnosis, medications/treatment plans, and supportive services (i.e. research, genetics, nutrition, psychosocial support, rehabilitation, etc.). They will serve as the point person to be in frequent contact with patients, patient’s family, physicians, nurses, chaplains, community and health agencies.
• Care Coordination: Demonstrate disease specific knowledge, skill and coordination to provide care and guidance to the patient population. Partner with patients, families and interdisciplinary team and community agencies to provide well-coordinated, timely, compassionate and multidisciplinary care. Will serve as the central point of contact for all navigated patients. Systematically and continually perform the nursing functions of assessment, planning, implementing and evaluating the care of the patient. Participate in hands on care delivery if situation warrants. Work across health care disciplines to assist in coordinating patient tests, procedures, appointments and treatments. Assist patient in overcoming barriers to care including logistical, transportation, education, financial counseling, referrals, psychosocial needs, etc. Refer patients for supportive care services including nutritionists, social workers, counselors, financial advocates, etc. Establishes a nurse/patient therapeutic relationship considering the special needs of the patient and family by supporting patients throughout the healthcare process, from prevention/screening to survivorship/end-of-life.
• Psychosocial Distress Screening: Perform distress screenings and provides education regarding services to address barriers to care. Assist patients in a prompt and courteous fashion. Complete distress screening and document distress within the EMR. Communicate with the oncology clinical team to assist patients and families with need and follow patients through continuum of care.
• Quality Service and Outcomes Management: Collect and report data from patients/families/caregivers on barriers, health care, medications, prior treatments, etc. Track order completion and follow-up. Monitor patient compliance with treatment plans. Adhere to established productivity benchmarks.
• Education: Provide individualized support, education and information to the patient and family, helping to make the care seamless, continuous and comprehensive. Patient teaching may include information regarding the disease process, expected side effects of treatment and community resources. Facilitate ongoing communication and education with the patient and family before, during and after treatment. Designs or participates in the creation of health education materials.
• Customer Service: Serve as a liaison between the patient and medical staff and other supportive staff. Serves as the primary contact and communication link between the patient, family, medical staff, and other members of the care team. Support the patient and family through difficult decision-making periods. Assists in identifying and documenting issues related to transitions of care. Provides ongoing feedback to patient on changes related to their care management. Develops collaborative relationships with care team to ensure continuity of care. Will be available to patient throughout their care in the system. Provides emotional support and empowerment to patient and their families. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
• Be an active member of the oncology program’s accreditation process and activities of the cancer committee.
Minimum Associate’s Degree. Bachelor’s Degree or higher preferred. Professional license required and certification preferred.
Minimum Work Experience
At least 1 year in healthcare field.
Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
• Strong understanding of rural Appalachian culture
• Computer literacy skills
• Good interpersonal communication skills with customers, internal and external organization members and health care providers
• Flexible, independent and adaptive with responsibilities
• Annual continuing oncology-based education with preference to navigational information
• Suggest (not required) memberships and/or certifications within oncology and/or oncology navigation from reputable organizations