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Geraldine

Geraldine McDonald

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: Victoria Health And Medicine > Cancer And Oncology
The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to determine the feasibility of implementing a volunteer model of patient navigators in cancer care - USA, Canada, UK
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Conclusion & Recommendations

This Fellowship has highlighted the need for Australia to consider alternate models of care that better address those experiencing health disparities. The patient navigation model of care enables the patient to be an active participant in their care. It also acknowledges that barriers to care can be identified by ensuring the social model of health is the principal tenet of cancer care. Addressing and reducing barriers, access to screening, diagnosis and treatment, supportive care and survivorship are part of the experience of a cancer patient. Whilst there is no single model that can address all these issues simultaneously, identifying where in the continuum of cancer care the patient experiences the most challenges, should be the driver for establishing a patient navigation program.

The patient experience movement is increasingly emerging as a credible mechanism for measuring patient navigation success. Research and evidence must underpin the establishment of the patient navigation program ensuring the metrics for measuring success are validated tools that capture what you are trying to address in order to demonstrate return on investment.

Every health service or organisation I visited were implementing patient navigation models that addressed the particular needs of their patients. Identifying the problem you are trying to address is tantamount to success. I will utilise the following principles to support the development of patient navigation:

  1. Understand the problem you are endeavouring to address
  2. Ensure the development of a patient navigation program is developed utilising principles of co-design with the patient as a partner
  3. Ensure the model is part of the multidisciplinary team
  4. Ensure clear scope of practice and role delineation
  5. Implement a rigorous program evaluation.


The development of the specific patient navigation services that are focussed on particular barriers or cohorts would support the current model of cancer care at Peter Mac. The scoping of these navigation services to ensure they compliment and support current service delivery is a priority outcome of this Churchill Fellowship.

  • Financial Aid Navigation
  • Health Justice Partnership
  • End of Life care Navigation
  • Peer Navigation
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Navigation.

 

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