Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai launched a first-of-its-kind training course called KEVAT. Through KEVAT, the registered candidates will be trained for patient navigation which is a relatively a new profession. The patient navigators help cancer patients to manage their medical experience and coordinate their care. This programme has been launched by keeping the need of cancer patients in mind.
Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) bears the huge burden of cancer patients from all over India. Outstation patients face many difficulties, including language barrier, accommodation in Mumbai and financial crisis. Already mentally and physically weakened by the disease like cancer, these problems put on extra stress on the patients. The trained professionals, through KEVAT, will address all of these problems faced by the patient since his/her admission in TMH till the end of the treatment in the hospital.
This full time diploma course is named as KEVAT and first of its kind course in India. “It is a year long course aimed to create a specialised workforce of trained professionals to help patients manage their medical experience and assist them with navigation of a complicated and multi-step health care system,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, director, TMH.
“The course is meant for health administrators or health allied professionals interested in expanding their scope of practice to including patient navigation, individual seeking to join the healthcare field as a patient navigator, current social workers, support group and NGOs and clinicians or caregivers interested in learning about patient navigation,” said Dr K S Sharma, director (academics) , TMH.
“KEVAT is an attempt to bridge the gap between doctors and patients. The burden of cancer has been increasing in India and from all the patients received by Tata Memorial Hospital, only 40 per cent are from Mumbai and Maharashtra and rest 60 per cent are from rest of the country. So, we need trained professionals who understand the clinical procedures and also have proper communication, administrative and social skills to help patients to go through the cancer treatment,” said Vinit Samant Assistant Medical Superintendent, TMH.
KEVAT is a six-month certificate course in patient navigation. Any graduate of Indian nationality from any discipline can register for the programme. The selection of the candidates will be done through an entrance exam. After the six-month course, meritorious candidates will be selected for paid internship at TMH.
TMH is conducting the survey to understand the needs of patients in detail. The result of this survey will be out by October and the finding will be incorporated in KEVAT which will start from November. “Patients do need help. They need someone who can provide appropriate solutions to their problems. Through KEVAT, we are intending to that,” said Dr Sunita Jadhav, Senior Medical Social Worker at TMH.
The key features of this one year long course include:
Teaching by national and international faculty with expertise in patient navigation
Mentoring by specialists in the field cancer care
Development of managerial capabilities, soft skills and personality improvement
The course aims to equip participants to:
Become knowledgeable about the current healthcare climate and structure, including transitions of care
Understand how to communicate effective with patients and families in a way that maintains dignity, autonomy and confidentiality
Learn how to engage with patients and families in meaningful and productive discussions. That is, be able to identify what can be done to improve patient experience and how to reconcile differences between what patients want and what health providers believe is right for them.
Understand confidentiality protocols, ethics in care, advance directives, patient rights, etc.