Patient navigation supports patients and families to ensure timely access to diagnostic and cancer care services throughout the Maine Health System. The overall purpose is to assist the patient and family with ongoing support, advocacy, education, resources, and informed decision making as they move through the various phases of cancer care. Professional patient navigator’s may vary in their credentials and scope of practice but generally include nurses and social workers.
Essential components of Patient Navigators spell out the word "ASPIRE," using the first letter of each sentence, to describe the role and services:
Actively engages in one or all phases of patient care from screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, palliative care and/or end of life.
Screen for psychosocial needs and refer as needed.
Provide education about disease and treatment including clinical trials and genetics.
Identify and resolve barriers that inhibit timely access to care.
Responsive: facilitating communication and collaboration with the health care team.
Ensure the right care will be provided in the right location as close to home as possible.