Navigation programs are seen to be a means for increasing patient access to supportive care services, improving the continuity and coordination of care and improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer. Research, surveys and patient and donor feedback tell us that these are areas of concern for the patients and families of Vancouver Island. This new research theme proposes to research intervention models, effectiveness and feasibility of navigation programs and the opportunities for new services for the Foundation supported Alex & Jo Campbell Patient & Family Support Centre.
Over the next 3 years, the navigation team will work to achieve the following goals:
- To understand how various models of navigation address the perceived deficiencies in supportive care for patients at BC Cancer, VI.
- To identify how the timing of navigation services impacts the patient experience.
- To determine the resource requirements related to navigation services.
- To explore the potential and impact for volunteers as navigation service providers.
These goals will be achieved through conducting projects on the topics of Lay Navigation, Self Navigation as well as Virtual Navigation.
Lay Navigation involves the use of trained volunteers, with or without demographic similarities to the patient, to try and decrease anxiety in patients and help prepare them for their BC Cancer – Victoria experience. The lay navigation model at BC Cancer – Victoria was prepared by an interdisciplinary team and involves a timely intervention from the navigator immediately following diagnosis and referral of a select group of lung cancer patients to BC Cancer. This project is being funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and as part of this agreement, the implementation process for the project will be extensively documented and evaluated to create a framework for future navigation programs throughout Canada.
With respect to virtual navigation, BC Cancer – Victoria has participated in a national study testing the implementation of the Oncology Interactive Navigator. This has returned promising results and a local design team was established, which is developing a modified tool to more fully meet patient’s needs.
The navigation team will also be working within a systems approach, looking at how existing processes can be modified to better support navigation. This involves analysis of the current BC Cancer – Victoria new patient mail-out and DVD, development of a tailored patient guidebook, and engagement of patients in the development of education materials.