The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) Selects Sites to Participate in National Acuity Quality Initiative

Press Releases published on October 4, 2023 in News & Updates

CRANBURY, NJ (Oct. 4, 2023) – The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators’ (AONN+) National Navigation Acuity Taskforce is developing a standardized, validated, evidence-based Navigation Acuity Tool for oncology navigation programs. When finalized, the acuity tool is expected to help oncology navigators characterize the intensity of the patient navigation workload, aid in the allocation of resources, and measure the effectiveness of navigation on patient outcomes.

AONN+ is proud to announce that the following 5 sites have been selected to participate in the National Quality Initiative:

  • Miami Cancer Institute
  • Maine Medical Center
  • Baptist MD Anderson and Banner MD Anderson with the MD Anderson Cancer Network
  • RWJ Barnabas Health
  • UCHealth

This effort, which began in 2018, is being spearheaded by a 15-member team of oncology navigators and other professionals from across the US. The team is co-chaired by AONN+ members Danelle Johnston, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, OCN, and Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN.

“Over the past decade, there has been an enormous change within the oncology setting that has led to the need for navigation services,” says Johnston. “The full potential of navigation has not yet been realized, however. An acuity tool, such as this, will assist navigators in effectively allocating navigation resources and managing navigator caseload.”

“Today’s healthcare is driven by the delivery of value, quality and outcomes,” Strusowski says. “For cancer programs to receive full reimbursement from payers, they must not only demonstrate high-quality, high-value care, they must also show improved patient outcomes. Navigation services are an essential component of this endeavor. Our hope is that this acuity tool may support and enhance the effectiveness of oncology navigators through patient-centric, evidence-based methods.”

The Acuity Taskforce agreed that the tool should meet the following criteria:

  • Can be implemented across settings and roles
  • Simple and easily incorporated by a navigation team
  • Supports sustainability for navigation programs
  • Supports national guidelines and AONN+ navigation metrics
  • Facilitates safe, effective, and efficient care

“As oncology patient navigation evolves to meet the demands of value-based care in a resource challenged healthcare environment, this tool will allow the navigation workload to be measured in intensity of care versus numbers of patients,” says AONN+ Program Director Sharon Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN. “It will be a measure of equity so all patients can receive excellent care based on their identified needs.”

AONN+ gratefully acknowledges Astellas Pharma US, Inc., for its support of the Oncology Navigation Acuity Initiative. When finalized, this may support and enhance oncology navigators’ effectiveness through patient-centric, evidence-based methods that may have the potential to decrease the overall cost of care.

About the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc. (AONN+)
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc. (AONN+), is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. The organization, which has more than 9,000 members, was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services in order to better manage the complexities of the cancer treatment process.

For Immediate Release
Gwen Coverdale, 267-884-6328
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