Improving Patient Outcomes Through System Navigation
Liz Whitley, Ph.D.
Denver Health & Hospital Authority
African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Underserved
The overall goal of the Improving Patient Outcomes Through System Navigation project is to work with two community partners, the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and the AMC Cancer Research Center, to reduce cancer health disparities experienced by many minorities and underserved patients, approximately half without health insurance, living in the Rocky Mountain region.
This project aims to develop and conduct a highly innovative patient navigation program utilizing an existing community health worker demonstration project called Community Voices at the Denver Health & Hospital Authority for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers. Patient navigation will be carried out by lay Community Health Workers (CHWs) and will be augmented with telephone decisional support counseling and education to specifically address patient-centered psychosocial barriers. Specific research objectives are to: (1) reduce the time between an abnormal screening test for breast, colorectal and prostate cancers to a positive or negative pathologic diagnosis; (2) reduce the time from a positive pathologic diagnosis of breast, colorectal, or prostate cancers to the start of therapy; (3) increase the proportion of patients adhering to recommendations for care, including completion of additional diagnostic tests, consultation appointments, and completion of treatment; (4) improve patient reported outcomes of medical self-efficacy, satisfaction with care, and distress related to cancer diagnosis; and (5) examine the cost-effectiveness of patient navigation.