Bill Bunker, CEO, Navigating Cancer
New and innovative technology has made the world a more connected place for almost all industries worldwide. Healthcare, however, has continued to lag other sectors, relying on silos of information and paper-based systems. These barriers have a negative impact on patient-centered care, especially when patients are not in the clinic. For oncology care, this disconnect is even more detrimental. Today's cancer therapies are often complex and treatments are typically accompanied by a range of side effects that can harm patients and disrupt treatment. Bill Bunker, the CEO of Navigating Cancer, takes a data-driven approach to ensure true patient engagements that keeps patients connected to their care team, and enables proactive cancer care, even when the patient is not physically at the clinic.
“One of the biggest burdens we have alleviated for clinicians are the barriers in caring for patients after they leave the office,” says Bunker. The answer to how Navigating Cancer overcomes this hurdle lies in the company’s solution suite—Navigating Care. In an era when patient interactions have become extremely complicated, Navigating Care provides care coordination and a communication platform with embedded clinical workflows that enable more effective, scalable, and lower-cost care. “Navigation Care assures that there is a frequent dialogue between care providers and their patients,” adds Bunker.
The platform, available to oncology professionals and patients across the United States, can be used via a desktop or a mobile interface. The Navigating Care platform collects and stratifies patient needs according to severity and risk. Triage nurses can review all patients in their workflow and focus on the most pressing needs first. Nurses are able to deliver proactive and consistent care with embedded triage pathways that act as guides for symptom evaluation, and provide standing orders and interventions to streamline care.
Although the solution has a simple user-interface, the triage workboard helps escalate critical issues, provides vital patient information, and creates a way to respond to patient needs in a comprehensive way. The platform also gives patients an easy way to communicate with practitioners and get help when they need it. The internet interface of Navigating Care enables patients to get a comprehensive overview of their care and allows them to receive personalized content at appropriate intervals. This ensures that they are empowered with information about their cancer as well as knowledge that helps them manage side effects between visits.
We create a much tighter helpline enabling providers to better respond to their patients’ needs even outside the office
To highlight how the platform brings patients and clinicians closer, Bunker shared an example of Navigating Care’s remote patient monitoring program. As oral chemotherapies become more widely used, it's more important to understand what's happening with cancer patients when they are away from the clinic. In addition, untreated side effects can result in expensive and disruptive hospitalizations, but with monitoring and prompt intervention, that outcome can be avoided. Navigating Cancer developed a simple digital tool that prompts patients to adhere to their oral medication regimen and report all the side effects they experience. Patients are able to report their symptoms, request medication refills, or request a call back if they have an issue to discuss with their provider. “It creates a much tighter helpline for providers in understanding their patients’ needs even outside the office. Which is vital, especially as practices respond to the new pressures created by the COVID pandemic,” says Bunker.
As each day passes, Navigating Cancer continues to make its platform more mobile and strives to create an increasingly personalized patient experience. The company invests heavily in expanding its capabilities in mobile technology to reduce the wait times for patients. Aiming to establish a data-driven personalized care experience, Navigating Cancer has built a platform for patients and clinicians to work together in an industry that is in dire need of value-based care.