The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is pleased to announce the AONN+ CATCH Initiative! Short for Catching & Addressing Threats to Care & Health, the AONN+ CATCH Initiative is a reporting system to track and acknowledge the positive outcomes of navigation interventions. Each month, AONN+ will recognize a navigator for making a “Catch.”
What Is a CATCH?
A CATCH is a navigation win where the navigator caught an issue and intervened to correct it.
How Do I Report a CATCH?
Visit AONNonline.org/catch to submit a CATCH.
“Early identification of a blood clot plus early treatment can lead to saving a patient’s life.”
—Sara Sanchez, BSN, RN
The CATCH of the Month
The CATCH for November 2022 is awarded to Sara Sanchez, BSN, RN, a complex GI oncology nurse navigator with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Medical City Plano in Texas.
Background: Sara contacted the patient’s caregiver for routine follow-up, and the caregiver stated that the patient had a rash on his face, chest, and back. She also mentioned that his left arm had some swelling.
The Incident: Recognizing a potential medical issue, Sara called the patient to further assess his symptoms. The patient stated he was currently experiencing left arm swelling with pain, a purplish color, as well as distended veins.
The CATCH (Intervention): Using her nursing assessment skills and medical emergency knowledge, this navigator suspected a blood clot and instructed the patient to go to the emergency department for immediate assessment and evaluation. She confirmed the patient had a caregiver present to drive him and strongly encouraged him to seek medical care. After confirming the patient was headed to the emergency department, this navigator communicated with the patient’s medical oncologist and alerted him about the patient’s concerning symptoms and subsequent referral to the emergency department.
Outcome: The patient was evaluated, and it was determined he had extensive deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in his arm and was treated promptly, which resulted in the best outcome for this patient.
Alignment with AONN+ Metrics and Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice
This Catch aligns with several of the AONN+ Standardized Metrics and the Oncology Navigation Standards or Professional Practice outlined above.
Cancer patients, especially cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy, have a much higher risk of DVT than other people, which can cause serious health concerns, including the potential for developing a pulmonary embolism.3
This CATCH illustrates the clinical knowledge required of a navigator to recognize the severity of this complication as well as the follow-up multidisciplinary steps she took to include the patient’s medical oncologist. This crucial communication most likely expedited the patient’s emergency department assessment by including the medical oncologist, who can speak to the patient’s medical history, which may affect current care.
Navigation can be the difference between life and death, which was showcased within this CATCH, and is often demonstrated in everyday practice as navigators remain the safety net for oncology patients. g
- Strusowski T, Sein E, Johnston D, et al. Standardized evidence-based oncology navigation metrics for all models. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2017;8(5):220-243.
- The Professional Oncology Navigation Task Force. Oncology navigation standards of professional practice. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2022;13(3):74-85.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood Clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis). www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/patients/blood-clots.htm. 2022.