What are service delivery models?

A service delivery model describes the structure, function and inter-relationships of health-care professionals in providing cancer care for patients.

One example is the cancer patient navigator role. In this model, nurses or other health-care professionals help guide patients and their families as they move through the cancer control continuum. This benefits patients, families and caregivers by ensuring that needed knowledge and support are available each step of the way and by troubleshooting issues, concerns and unanticipated delays.

Having specially trained nurses perform colorectal cancer screening is another example. This model, known as the registered nurse-performed flexible sigmoidoscopy model, has been shown to increase the rates of screening in populations that have been reluctant to undergo colorectal screening. It also allows physicians, who would otherwise be performing the screening, to focus on patients who have been identified as needing more specialized care.