Oncology Nurse Navigator Effect on Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Admissions of Adults With Cancer Post–Outpatient Chemotherapy

Sunny Lee Stirling

Caroline Etland

Cynthia D. Connelly

Patricia Calero

Laurie Ecoff

oncology nurse navigator, emergency department visits, hospital admissions
ONF 2022, 49(6), 595-612. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.595-612

Objectives: To examine the effect of oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) on the number of emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions (HAs) of adults with cancer post–outpatient chemotherapy.

Sample & Setting: 1,370 patients with cancer between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, in a comprehensive community cancer center in southern California.

Methods & Variables: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using retrospective electronic health records. Primary analysis included bivariate and multiple linear regression to identify correlates of ED visits and HAs in terms of ONN involvement.

Results: About 35% of patients had an ED visit or HA. Anemia, dehydration, and pain were common diagnoses. No significant differences were found in ED visits and HAs by ONN group. Medicare and chemotherapy administration location contributed to the likelihood of ED visits; nausea, pain, and pneumonia contributed to the likelihood of HAs.

Implications for Nursing: ED visits and HAs are not appropriate clinical outcomes to measure ONNs’ efficacy. Further research is needed to understand the long-term fiscal and operational outcomes of ONNs.

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