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April 2013 VOL 4, NO 2

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Patient Resources

Resources of Potential Benefit to You and to the Patients You Navigate – Part 1 of a 5 Part Series

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG 

Most navigators are familiar with the large national patient advocacy organizations that provide various resources for patients that can expedite our ability to reduce barriers impeding diagnosis and treatment, but there are actually additional resources that you may not be aware of that I want to tell you about. These resources are from pharmaceutical companies and other device and laboratory testing companies. Although there are a lot of restrictions in place today regarding how we are and are not to “interact” with for-profit companies connected to cancer care, I think that you will be happily surprised (as I was) to see that there are several resources that are not associated directly with these companies’ for-profit status!

This is part 1 of a 5-part series that I will be bringing to you as we expand everyone’s knowledge about access to services that can benefit our patients with cancer.

This particular pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Oncology, offers a series of educational programs targeted to navigators like ourselves, so that we can become more knowledgeable about our field of navigation and patient advocacy. Pfizer offers support services for patients through the First Resource program. The services provided include reimbursement support, alternate funding assistance, appeals support, copay assistance, and free medications. These services are available for the insured, underinsured, and the uninsured. All of the details can be accessed at www.firstresourceprogram.com.

Art of Active Listening: Delivering Emotionally Charged News

  • Enhance participant communication skills when discussing a new and/or serious diagnosis and handling difficult questions
  • Apply empathic counseling skills with a patient facing a serious health diagnosis
  • Formulate a sensitive response to patients adjusting to a difficult prognosis
  • Support patients so they are better able to understand their medical status and participate in their own care

Advancing Concepts in Survivorship Care

  • Issues that confront patients with cancer in the United States and trends in survivorship care
  • Treatment advancements changing the patient pathway
  • The link between survivorship care, patient navigation, and personalized care
  • What to consider when developing a survivorship program

Personalized Medicine in Cancer Care

  • Paradigm shifts in perspectives on cancer and treatment
  • Overview of personalized medicine in oncology
  • Goals of personalized medicine
  • Biomarker testing: types of biomarkers, challenges with biomarkers, potential patient concerns

Raising Awareness in Clinical Trials

  • Only a small percentage of adults diagnosed with cancer participate in clinical trials
  • Healthcare professionals will learn to identify and overcome the barriers to clinical trial participation
  • Clinical trials give patients access to innovative approaches that may increase their chances of success while advancing science

Optimizing Quality Goals through Electronic Medical Records

  • An explanation of health information technology (HIT) and why it has become so important in healthcare
  • Incentives to encourage oncology practices to adopt meaningful use of HIT
  • Measures to help with adoption, implementation, and enhancement of an electronic medical record (EMR) system
  • Potential quality care benefits of using EMRs in oncology practices: coordination of care, clinical pathways and guidelines, adverse events management, adherence, e-prescribing

Older Adult Sensitivity Training

  • Epidemiology of aging addresses most common health conditions in older adults and their unique needs
  • Portrait of older adults explores the older population through case studies and discussion groups
  • Effective communication skills identify barriers and teaches foundational techniques
  • Older adult sensitivity strategies provide learning opportunities through simulation activities
  • Role of caregiver identifies challenges caregivers face and intervention strategies for success
  • Supporting the patient experience in the oncology setting

Patient Navigation: Advancing Personalized Care

  • The broadening scope of patient navigation and its increasing importance in patient management
  • The link between patient navigation and survivorship care
  • The challenges to organizations and patient navigators of the changing healthcare system and growing population of cancer survivors
  • How patient navigators can help improve cancer care as advances in treatments become more personalized
  • The importance of standards of care in patient navigation
  • Ensuring high quality in patient navigation programs

Promoting Patient Adherence

  • Adherence rates cited in various published oncology studies
  • Potential barriers to adherence
  • Accurately measuring patient adherence
  • Using patient consultations to improve adherence through objective and subjective evidence
  • Helpful communication techniques to promote ­adherence

An impressive list to say the least! The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators will be reaching out to Pfizer leadership to offer several of these educational programs for our conference in November 2013 as well as locally, regionally, and in the form of webinars. These are unbranded programs!

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