When the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) established the AONN+ Standardized Metrics Task Force, the goal was to develop a set of metrics that could objectively measure success in navigation programs. Early in 2017, AONN+ published the results established by the task force: 35 metrics that are applicable in all navigation models and enable an accurate evaluation of a program’s impact on clinical outcomes, patient experience, and return on investment. Now, AONN+ and Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, have announced their partnership in a pilot validation study of these metrics.
Sarah Cannon offers integrated cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for those facing cancer in communities across the United States and the United Kingdom. Through its services, Sarah Cannon provides state-of-the-art cancer care close to home for hundreds of thousands of patients, a number unmatched by any single cancer center. Sarah Cannon will use the AONN+ metrics in a select navigation program, collecting data for analysis in this first-of-its-kind validation study. Participating Sarah Cannon navigators will also become members of AONN+ and pursue AONN+ professional development programs, such as the Oncology Nurse Navigator Certification, to further establish best practices in training across programs.
According to Crystal Dugger, RN, BSN, MBA, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Operations at Sarah Cannon, AONN+ and Sarah Cannon share a commitment to enhancing the patient experience and the delivery of quality cancer care through standardized navigation programs. In a recent interview, Ms Dugger said, “Through this pilot, we look forward to further validating metrics to improve patient care, engage physicians, and deliver quality programs for our patients in communities across the US.”
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG, Co-Founder and Program Director, AONN+, is looking forward to enriching the literature on the benefits of navigation programs for patients through the analysis of the data gathered from this pilot. Danelle Johnston, RN, MSN, ONN-CG, OCN, CBCN, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, and member of AONN+’s Leadership Council, has emphasized sharing information. She said, “With this concerted effort between AONN+ and Sarah Cannon, navigators across the country will be able to share best practices for establishing and delivering quality navigation programs to ultimately improve patient care."