Dear Navigators, Social Workers, Administrators, and Clinical Staff,
Oncology care is driven by value, quality, and outcomes. Institutions demand that patients receive the trifecta of high-value care, high-quality care, and improved patient outcomes. Considering current healthcare workforce shortages, limited financial resources, and an aging population, delivering this trifecta can be challenging.
As we know, a well-run navigation program assists in elevating value, quality, and outcomes. In fact, it is an expectation of navigation programs to achieve these goals. As navigation programs have expanded across the globe, there are still challenges of properly identifying patients who will benefit most from navigation services, defining the optimal duration of time navigation services are required, and tracking the results, or return on investment of the navigation program.
To this end, the National Acuity Initiative is working toward the development of an evidence-based, validated, navigation acuity tool that is appropriate in all models of navigation in every setting across the cancer continuum. The tool will provide navigators and administrators the ability to characterize the complexity of the oncology patient, allocate resources, and measure the effectiveness of navigation on patient outcomes.
In this issue, we present an update on the acuity tool. This team has been hard at work conducting a scoping review of the literature. The results of that review informed the creation of case studies on which the acuity tool will be tested and validated. We congratulate the authors on their continued progress on this important endeavor, and we promise to keep you abreast of the progress and release of the acuity tool.
Thank you for being part of our community of navigators who deliver high-value, high-quality care. AONN+ will continue to provide you with the information and tools you need to serve your patients. Together, we will continue to advance the cause of navigation.
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer; Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer of Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions; Co-Founder of AONN+; Co-Founder of the Association of Chronic & Complex Care Nurse Navigators (ACCCNN).