August 2012 VOL 3, NO 4

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2012 Abstracts, AONN 2012 Third Annual Meeting Coverage

Nurse Navigators Play Key Role in the Evolution of a Navigation Database: The Fox Chase Cancer Center Journey

Bonnie Miller, RN, BSN, OCN, FAAMA 

Background: This program illustrates the impact of contributions by nurse navigators to the development of a database influencing cancer care across the continuum. Oncology nurse navigation continues to grow in importance as nurses assist with the diverse needs of cancer patients. Demonstrating the impact of nurse navigation along the continuum of care not only supports better outcomes but allows for sustainment of a navigation program. An effective tool to document and measure accurate and timely interventions that is not labor intensive is critical.

Methods: A nurse navigation program piloted and tested several database programs starting with an Excel spreadsheet, which evolved to an ACCESS Database. Nurse navigators, nursing administration, and the IT research team developed a Web-based application. This application links existing systems within the institution, thus supporting clinical care. It also provides the ability to run reports allowing administrators to demonstrate the impact of navigation through the continuum of care and on the return on investment. All navigators utilize this application and actively participate in the continued upgrades and modifications meeting navigation program needs.

Results: By instituting this application, time and effort spent by the nurse navigator in documentation has decreased. This allows navigators to focus on patient needs while permitting accurate, timely, and effective documentation. Data collected and reported have helped sustain nurse navigators in breast cancer programs and provided support for proposals for additional navigators in gynecologic oncology, head and neck cancer, thoracic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and infusion room settings.

Conclusion: The database allows measurement of specific goals related to timeliness of patient care from initial call to first appointment and referral to clinical trials. The database assists with the evaluation of interdisciplinary metrics and goals across disease sites. The navigation database was developed by oncology nurse navigators to provide an avenue of documentation that is tailored to the needs of the oncology patient.


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