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Operations Management

Metastatic breast cancer patients report a lack of information tailored to their diagnosis.
Patient navigation programs assist in the management of patients with complex medical problems.
According to a 2013 Institute of Medicine report, cancer treatment costs are escalating rapidly and resulting in less affordable care options for patients.
As the healthcare landscape is evolving from independent hospitals to large healthcare systems, the challenge of standardizing programs such as navigation becomes paramount to ensuring best practices and service consistency.
As the Director for Corporate Oncology Navigation at Ballad Health, Zilipah Cruz believes that the 2018 AONN+ Annual Conference helped her understand the needs of the oncology navigators at her institution. While oncology navigators help remove the barriers that keep patients from getting the appropriate treatment, administrators like her help remove the barriers that oncology navigators face.
Crystal Dugger describes how the ideal team should work for the benefit of the patient and to secure the highest quality of care.
Crystal Dugger warns administrators to avoid "scope creep" by having their navigators take on too many tasks; she says the navigator's focus must always be on the patient.
Crystal Dugger offers insight on the business philosophy of Sarah Cannon (HCA) and the elements of a successful program.
Crystal Dugger stresses the necessity of standardizing and quantifying the value of a navigation program to the institution.
What does it take to sustain a navigation program for years to come? Crystal Dugger lists the most important ones for long-term sustainability.
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