Beginning a navigation program can be intimidating, and there is no one program that fits every institution. Lillie recommends visiting other institutions that have established programs as a starting point. She also explains that practices need to look at their own operations management process in order to determine what will work best for their institution.
Although it is no small task, Lillie explains that achieving the Commission on Cancer Accreditation is important and offers the benefit of becoming an NCI-designated cancer center. This is something savvy consumers are looking for when seeking cancer care.
Lillie discusses the disadvantages for institutions that are not Commission on Cancer accredited, including difficulties drawing newly diagnosed consumers and referring physicians to the practice. The accreditation requires the practice to meet certain standards that are important to cancer care and survivorship.
In addition to visiting other institutions that have established navigation programs, Lillie explains that AONN+ is an excellent resource for establishing navigation programs. As a professional organization with a membership of navigators, they have information about how to train navigators, how to continue education, and what new resources are available to break barriers.