Navigators are a critical piece of oncology care. But many of their systems are lagging in efficiency and quality, hurting both patients and hospital processes. Cordata’s Oncology National Accounts Advisor Cam McClellan Teems recently authored a guest post for Oncology Nurse Advisor highlighting this need for improved systems and interoperability for all involved in the care team.
Cam touches on how, despite technology’s advancement in the past decades, coordinated data sharing and patient recordkeeping have a long way to go:
“Yes, moving from paper-based charts and sticky notes to Excel spread sheets represents progress. But navigators are essential to providing quality oncology care and the vast majority are using badly outdated or ill-suited technology to support their patients in the push to better outcomes.”
Data lies at the heart of the issue when it comes to seeing technology as a burden rather than a boon. And disparate data along with incompatibility issues make life especially tough for navigators. Wading through a complex pool of disconnected data to piece together a patient’s medical history reflects how navigators are often working with disconnected care teams:
“To be optimally effective and productive in serving patients — a top priority of nearly every navigator I have ever met — navigators need better systems with easier access to integrated data so they can understand where patients have been in their treatments, where they are going next, and other vital information that makes every patient unique (especially relative to distress, possible depression, and financial and logistical challenges to treatment).”
New standards under the move to value-based care along with MACRA reporting regulations mean that it’s not just a problem of efficiency – it’s a problem at the heart of health care. Specialists turn to navigators when patient satisfaction and access issues arise, so navigators (and their patients) would benefit from better coordination technology.