Table 2:

Identified gaps in patient navigation programs and services

DomainSpecific gaps and unmet needs
AwarenessPatients, physicians and staff members are unaware of programs and services, including those
  • Offered in their zone, through Alberta Health Services

  • Offered outside of their zone, through Alberta Health Services

  • By organizations outside of Alberta Health Services

Owing to lack of patient awareness of programs, programs allowing for self-referral often have a high no-show rate
Information on programs and services is difficult to find and predominantly transmitted through word of mouth
Patients may be aware of programs but do not know how to access them
ResourcesMany current patient navigation programs are at or over capacity
Resources and services are lacking for the following groups:
  • Children with complex needs who are transitioning to adult care

  • Adults (nonsenior population)

  • Adults with mental health and developmental needs

  • Patients being discharged from hospital or other acute care facilities

  • Those not meeting eligibility criteria of the programs (e.g., young adults with cancer that is not treated by chemotherapy or radiotherapy)

GeographyLack of transportation options within cities and from rural residences to programs located at urban sites; it is cost prohibitive for patients to pay out of pocket to travel from rural residences to larger centres
Rural areas have fewer available services
Patients and care providers from rural areas are unaware of programs and services that they can access at urban centres
IntegrationLack of communication and integration among programs within Alberta Health Services
Lack of cohesive client care and communication across different government ministries
Inability to share and access patient information across different programs