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Plus Pointers

Transgender people persistently experience discrimination and inequality in all aspects of their life, including healthcare.
In order to optimize access to care across the cancer continuum including the most vulnerable patients, it's important to organize and prioritize your resources. One particular community is the LGBT community.
One important aspect of navigating is giving your patients the feeling of empowerment. Talk to your patients about having them communicate their preferences and priorities for treatment to their healthcare team, and help facilitate shared decision-making in the patient’s healthcare.
As patient navigators, it is important to demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, abilities, and sexual orientation. Navigators are essential to connecting patients with information that is accessible and understandable.
Whether to keep or repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a matter of congressional debate. The ACA provides important protections for cancer patients, including not allowing health insurance plans to deny or limit coverage because of a cancer diagnosis.
Navigators should be aware of health literacy in their patients, and identify appropriate and credible resources responsive to patient needs (practical, social, physical, emotional, spiritual). Navigators need to take into consideration reading level, health literacy, culture, language and amount of information desired.

As a navigator, it’s important to set learning and improvement goals, and identify and perform learning activities that address one’s gaps in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities.

Navigators have a critical role in highlighting system bottlenecks and health care inefficiencies. At the GW Cancer Center, largely due to patient navigators speaking up, a policy advocacy effort was prioritized to improve access to chemotherapy for Medicaid patients.
One aspect navigators should consider learning is how to communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public to build trusting relationships across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Patient navigators are critical in getting patients into guideline-adherent colorectal cancer screening.
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