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Transitional Care Navigation.

OBJECTIVES: This manuscript aims to provide an extensive review of the literature, synthesize findings, and present substantial insights on the current state of transitional care navigation. Additionally, the existing models of care, pertaining to the concept and approach to transitional care navigation, will be highlighted.

METHODS: An extensive search was conducted though using multiple search engines, topic-specific key terminology, eligibility of studies, as well as a limitation to only literature of existing relevance. Integrity of the evidence was established through a literature review matrix source document. A synthesis of nursing literature from organizations and professional publications was used to generate a comparison among various sources of evidence for this manuscript. Primary evidence sources consisted of peer-reviewed journals and publications from professional organizations such as the AHRQ, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, and the Talbot research library.

RESULTS: A total of five systematic reviews (four with meta-analysis) published between 2016 and 2022 and conducted in several countries (Brazil, Korea, Singapore, and the US) were included in this review. A combined total of 105 studies were included in the systematic reviews with 53 studies included in meta-analyses. The review of the systematic reviews identified three overarching themes: care coordination, care transition, and patient navigation. Care coordination was associated with an increase in care quality rating, increased the health-related quality of life in newly diagnosed patients, reduced hospitalization rates, reduced emergency department visits, timeliness in care, and increased appropriateness of healthcare utilization. Transitional care interventions resulted to reduced average number of admissions in the intervention (I) group vs control (C) (I = 0.75, C = 1.02) 180 days after a 60-day intervention, reduced readmissions at 6 months, and reduced average number of visits 180 days after 60-day intervention (I = 2.79, C = 3.60). Nurse navigators significantly improved the timeliness of care from cancer screening to first-course treatment visit (MD = 20.42, CI = 8.74 to 32.10, P = .001).

CONCLUSION: The care of the cancer patient entails treatments, therapies, and follow-up care outside of the hospital setting. These transitions can be challenging as they require coordination and collaboration among various health care sites. The attributes of transitional care navigation overlap with care coordination, care transition, and patient navigation. There is an opportunity to formally develop a transitional care navigation model to effectively addresses the challenges in care transitions for patient including barriers to health professional exchange of information or communication across care settings and the complexity of coordination between care settings. The transitional care navigation and clinic model developed at a free-standing NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center is a multidisciplinary approach created to close the gaps in care from hospital to home.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: A transitional care navigation model aims to transform the existing perspectives and viewpoints of hospital discharge and transition of care to home or post-acute care settings as two solitary processes to that of a collective approach to care. The model supports provides an integrated continuum of quality, comprehensive care that supports patient compliance with treatment regimens, reinforces patient and caregiver education, and improves health outcomes.

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