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American Cancer Society Patient Navigation Capacity Building Initiative

Female doctor attending a patient in the hospital corridor
Enhancing patient navigation services to reduce cancer health disparities
  • Client
    American Cancer Society
  • Dates
    July 2022 - Present

Problem

Patients face many barriers to receiving cancer treatment.  

After a cancer diagnosis, it is often difficult for patients to access the treatment they need. Some of these challenges are related to access, such as a lack of transportation to get to treatment, costs related to their care, or other financial challenges (e.g., lost wages, childcare costs). Other challenges are associated with navigating the care system itself, like keeping track of multiple appointments, or moving between health systems to access different specialists. These challenges contribute to patients not getting the care they need, or experiencing problematic delays in treatment.  

Solution

Patient navigation addresses barriers and improves health outcomes.  

NORC has partnered with ACS to evaluate this grant and identify lessons learned to support innovative, sustainable models for oncology patient navigation.  Oncology patient navigators offer individualized assistance to support cancer patients and their families in addressing barriers to care. Patient navigators offer a range of services, from connecting patients to transportation and financial resources, to ensuring patients understand and follow through with key next steps in their treatment. The American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded grants to 20 institutions across the country to help them enhance their patient navigation services.  Our evaluation will identify best practices, gaps, and opportunities to improve patient navigation.

Result

Grantee implementation began in 2023 and evaluation work is underway.

Data and findings are forthcoming.

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