October 2018 Vol 9, NO 10

If we surveyed nurse and patient navigators around the country and asked them if one of their primary job responsibilities includes policy advocacy, it is unlikely that question would be met with a resounding “yes.” Yet, every person engaged in oncology navigation is also engaged in patient and policy advocacy each and every day.

With the expansion of technology into every aspect of healthcare, the Academy of Oncol­ogy Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) Technology & Innovation (T&I) Committee focuses on using technology to support and facilitate patient navigation in 3 ways.

The number of individuals living with cancer is increasing. More than 15.5 million Americans are living with a history of cancer, and approximately 65% of those diagnosed are surviving more than 5 years.

Effective implementation of patient navigation programs can be complex and daunting. Navigation is a foundational component in developing world-class cancer centers of excellence. Navigators ensure patients are compliant with their treatment plan by removing barriers, educating them, providing care coordination, and becoming a constant point of contact.

Patient navigation is an intervention that can help increase treatment adherence and improve health outcomes for cancer patients. Cancer patients and their caregivers often experience barriers to timely, high-quality cancer treatment.

The opioid crisis, although not new to the United States, has gained significant attention since the government recognition and subsequent announcement of the problem in 2017.

Oncology clinical trials have greatly advanced treatment options for patients with cancer, resulting in remarkable improvements in survival and well-being.

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