Guiding Patients to Quality Outcomes

Goals of Patient Navigation

The goals of patient navigation are1:

  • Save lives from cancer—Ensure that all patients who have a suspicious finding find resolution through more timely diagnosis and treatment.
  • Eliminate barriers to care—Make sure that patients get to follow-up appointments and are aware of and can access needed services.
  • Ensure timely delivery of services—Assist patients in moving through the health care system as needed in a timely manner.

Too often the positive gains made in finding cancer early are lost because of a lack of clinical follow-up by the patient. Patient navigators, while collaborating with other members of the cancer care team (eg, physicians, nurses, social workers), guide patients through the health care system and help to prevent and eliminate barriers to quality care and treatment.

1Freeman HP. A model patient navigation program. Oncol Issues. September/October 2004:44-46.