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Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2013 Apr;72(4):116-21.

Helping cancer patients across the care continuum: the navigation program at the Queen's Medical Center.

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The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.


Research suggests that cancer patient navigation improves care, but few reports describe the variety of patients managed by a hospital-based navigation program. Differences in navigated patients by the intensity (low, medium, or high) of navigation services they received were examined. The 835 clients seen by the navigators in a hospital-based cancer center were first stratified by quarter and by four ethnic groups. Randomized selection from each group assured there would be equal representation for analysis of Hawaiians, Filipinos, Japanese, and Whites and even numbers over all time intervals. Five professionals extracted data from these case records on demographics, type/stage of cancer, diagnosis and treatment dates, barriers, and navigator actions. Clients had breast (30.0%), lung (15.8%), esophageal (6.7%), colon (5.8%), ovarian (4.2%), prostate (3.3%), and other cancers (34.2%). The median number of actions taken on behalf of a client was 4 (range 1-83), and the median number of days a case was open was 14 (range 1-216). High intensity cases (those receiving more assistance over longer periods of time) were more likely than low-intensity cases to need help with education and reassurance, transportation, care coordination, and covering costs. Although there were no demographic differences across intensity groups, Neighbor Island patients from Hawai'i, Maui, Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kaua'i were more likely to need help with arranging travel, care coordination, and costs associated with getting treatment (all at P=.05), and patients on public insurance were more likely to have stage 4 cancer (P=.001) and to need help with costs (P=.006). Findings suggest that this hospital-based navigation program is filling a real need of patients across the cancer care continuum. A triage protocol and an integrated data capture system could help improve the targeting and documentation of cancer patient navigation services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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