Ms. Strusowski recently co-authored an article on “Patient Navigation Metrics” for Oncology Issues, the journal of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. In this guest blog post, she explores this topic in the context of value-based care.
Value-based care is a highly coordinated, patient-centered solution to address rising costs, duplication of services, barriers to care, and to help patients receive the care they need. Over the decades, patient navigation standards and core competencies have been established through national organizations. These guidelines and standards have provided an excellent foundation for oncology navigation programs. Metrics are exceedingly important for measuring the success of your patient navigation program. Value-based care (which drives improvements to the delivery of care by requiring improved care at a lower cost) encompasses more than metrics and has the potential to skyrocket your program to a new level.
As we advance present navigation programs, value-based care will be essential; it will incorporate all the key categories from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis.”
The conceptual framework from the IOM report includes:
- Engaged patients
- Adequately staffed, trained, and coordinated workforce
- Evidence-based cancer care
- A learning healthcare IT system for cancer
- Translation of evidence into clinical practice, quality measurement, and performance improvement
- Accessible, affordable cancer care
The goal of value-based care is to empower patients to actively participate in their care, which will enhance the patient experience and drive patient-centered outcomes.
How can we support our patients to participate in their care discussions? Some examples include:
- Provide decision aides, including questions to prompt discussion with the patient and his or her healthcare provider
- Provide patients with educational information that incorporates their preferred learning style; that is, written, visual, or verbal
- Mandate health literacy and cultural competency training for our staff
- Utilize evidence-based tools to identify barriers for patients and their families
- Create a patient appointment checklist to explain the reason for tests and procedures
The result of value-based care is a patient-centered process in which patients and their families are educated and able to participate in their treatment discussion from time of diagnosis through to survivorship or end-of-life services. By having our patients actively participate in these treatment discussions, value-based outcomes will prevail and advance the level of our patient navigation programs.