Background: Patients with cancer often experience prominent deficiencies in cancer care in the immediate period following initial cancer diagnosis.
Objectives: This article aims to determine whether the inclusion of a gastrointestinal (GI) oncology nurse navigator (ONN) on the multidisciplinary cancer care team is associated with improved quality of care for patients.
Methods: This retrospective study compared randomly selected patients with GI cancer with and without an ONN. Two endpoints, the time from diagnosis to treatment and the average number of missed appointments, were evaluated through a review of healthcare records using the Epic electronic health records system.
Findings: Patients with an ONN had a shorter time lapse between diagnosis and treatment commencement (p < 0.001). In this group, the average time spent between initial diagnosis and the start of treatment was 15.15 days, compared to 42.93 days for patients who were not part of the multidisciplinary cancer care model.