241804 Productivity of patient navigators at a safety-net hospital in Chicago

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:30 AM

Kristi L. Allgood, MPH , Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Steve Whitman, PHD , Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Background: Since 2005, a foundation dedicated to improving women's lives has funded a patient navigation program for patients with abnormal breast imaging at a Chicago safety-net hospital. The role of a Patient Navigator is loosely defined and experience levels vary widely. However, the main goals of a navigation program are to improve follow-up, decrease times between services and eliminate barriers to making appointments.

Methods: Between July and December 2010 we listed the predominant services provided and asked each of our 3 navigators to track the number of minutes each task took. We then summed the time for each task.

Results: During this time n=2174 patients were navigated and n=6500 encounters occurred. Each navigator saw about 10 patients per day worked. Navigators spend about 15% of their time doing project related tasks such as data entry, but the remaining time is devoted to navigating patients in various ways. 12% of their time is spent providing education, 18% is spent providing medical assistance, 18% is spent escorting patients to appointments or for moral support during a biopsy and 14% is spent assisting with scheduling appointments or obtaining referrals.

Conclusions: The Navigators spend about 20-30 minutes with each patient they encounter and they add an enormous benefit to patients in busy clinic settings when staff resources are limited. In addition, since so much time is spent providing breast health and or medical information to patients, there may be implications for ensuring that the navigators are well trained to triage these issues.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To demonstrate how navigators time is spent. 2. To describe a strategy to evaluate productivity of a navigation program. 3. To discuss areas where a navigation program may be beneficial in a resource poor environment.

Keywords: Breast Cancer Programs, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the evaluator and responsible party for planning and implementing this navigation program at our facility.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.