Title : A new role for the clinical nurse specialist: New research on patient navigators
Objective: To define the role of the patient navigator and its capacity to enhance patient experience
Significance and Background: An Integrated Care Collaborative (ICC) is a unique model that enhances care for hip and knee replacement patients by assigning them a patient navigator (PN)- a dedicated Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who guides patients through the care continuum, coordinates input across clinical settings and streamlines discharge and rehabilitation.
Purpose: There is a dearth of research on benefits of PNs and no literature describing benefits of the PN role in orthopaedic surgery. As per a three year grant from the Ministry of Health and Long-term care in Ontario, Canada, qualitative research was initiated to explore the experience of patients who undergo a hip or knee replacement and interact with a PN.
Framework: A qualitative thematic analysis approach was utilized. Thematic analysis focuses on examining themes within data describing a selected phenomenon. Data is collected from patients to describe what was experienced and how.
Methods and Analysis: The main research question is: What does it mean to patients who have a hip or knee replacement to have contact from a PN throughout their care continuum? Purposive sampling was utilized. Telephone interviews were conducted until data saturation was reached. 16 patients participated. Interviews were coded separately by 2 people.
Findings and Implications: Preliminary findings show that patients contact the CNS for various reasons to eliminate a gap in their care and patients express benefit in having access to the PN. The navigator role is an innovative model that eliminates gaps within the health care system and within the patient’s journey. Patient navigators will be the key to positive future changes in health care.
Audience Take Away:
• The audience will be able to define the role of the patient navigator in the context of hip and knee replacement surgery.
• The audience will learn about current research findings and implications for future practice.
• The audience will learn about the benefits of patient navigation and why the role has a positive effect on patient experience.