Making Global Waves Through Experiential Learning and Co-design: American Cancer Society BEACON Pilot

Patient navigation has been used for decades to coordinate care in specialties, such as cancer, to address emotional, social, and physical barriers that influence clinical outcomes. “Patient navigation is a community-based service delivery intervention designed to promote access to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases by eliminating barriers to care.”1 At its inception, patient navigation programs were aimed to support disadvantaged patients, who were the most vulnerable,  throughout complex care pathways. Over time, this internationally-recognized person-centered model was spread across care experiences, care settings and showed dramatic effects on clinical outcomes. However, patient navigation programs often failed to scale in developing or marginalized communities due to high demand and significant resource requirements. 

Patient navigators have a unique viewpoint in that they combine clinical expertise and experience care, setbacks, support, and education from the viewpoint of the patient and their family. They are embedded into the care team and are able to use that data to advocate for patients and to help them to overcome barriers. goShadow was founded on the principle that data which a patient navigator would observe – from all stakeholders’ points of view – should be easily and objectively collected and reported so that it can be analyzed and used to improve at scale.  

goShadow is honored to partner with The American Cancer Society's (ACS) BEACON initiative. The ACS’ goal is to bridge the gap in health equity and to push forward patient centered care to improve experiences and outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer. 30 organizations from 21 countries came together for the launch of the ACS’ pilot program in ten low and middle income countries (LMIC) healthcare organizations. The BEACON Initiative toolkit offers resources for building robust patient navigator pathways. Patient navigators play a critical role, especially in LMIC countries where patients are more vulnerable due to higher rates of poverty, under-resourced facilities, and distance to treatment, all of which results in poor health outcomes. Patient navigators ensure that patients, families and caregivers have the resources, support, and expertise for timely diagnoses and treatments. The toolkit aims to provide concrete instructions that guide sustainable cultural changes and program development as well as an online peer collaborative support network to expand patient navigation services. 

Through this scalable process, teams and care delivery systems can collaboratively  pinpoint pain points and co-create more ideal processes using a relationship-based approach. This is the foundational principle for co-producing improved care journeys and a cornerstone of goShadow’s framework for process improvement. Emphasizing experiential learning, sharing diverse perspectives, and utilizing the expertise of those closest to the work results in a learning system and culture that delivers more ideal outcomes for all. 

To learn more about the ACS’ work or to get involved, visit their website.

Do you want to create an inclusive learning culture at your organization? goShadow’s co-design Champion Course employs experiential learning, individual and team coaching, real-time programmatic support, and the identification of actionable projects to drive cultural change and improvement. Find out more in our course curriculum and get in touch.

Source: Freeman, Harold P, and Rian L Rodriguez. “History and principles of patient navigation.” Cancer vol. 117,15 Suppl (2011): 3539-42. doi:10.1002/cncr.2626211

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Posted on

March 11, 2022