Colonoscopy Patient Navigator Program Model

The NYC Department of Health's Colonoscopy Patient Navigator Program (CPNP) trains and supports Patient Navigators who assist patients referred for colorectal cancer screening colonoscopies in hospitals. Patient Navigators guide patients through the screening process, helping them access health care, connect with hospital personnel and track health interventions and outcomes.

The CPNP provides education for Patient Navigators, as well as technical assistance to interested local hospitals that employ Patient Navigators for screening in hospital settings. The technical assistance includes the initial training of Patient Navigators on protocols and record documentation, as well as ongoing education. The CPNP collects aggregate quality improvement data from participating hospitals and reports it back to individual hospitals. This program model has been effective in increasing patient adherence rates and reducing incidents of poor bowel preparation.

Since the program started in 2003, Patient Navigators have helped more than 100,000 New Yorkers get colonoscopies. They have prevented potential cancers in nearly 20,000 people who have had polyps removed. If you would like to be part of this program, email us at

For more information about who should get screened and why colonoscopies are a vital part of preventive care, see our Colon Cancer page for patients.

How the Program Works

Navigators help colonoscopy patients to navigate the health care system and access appropriate resources and services. Navigators are trained, culturally sensitive health care workers who help patients overcome barriers to quality care.

When a patient is referred by his or her doctor for a colonoscopy, the Navigator helps explain why the procedure is important and how to prepare for it. The Navigator helps alleviate fears about the procedure by explaining what the patient can expect and answering questions.

Patient Navigators will also:

  • Contact patients to confirm or reschedule appointments
  • Help patients make follow-up appointments
  • Conduct outreach to non-adherent patients
  • Track interventions and outcomes
  • Link patients to resources and services

Hospital Benefits

In addition to the benefits for patients, Patient Navigators can help a hospital by:

  • Improving the coordination and continuum of care
  • Increasing colon cancer screening rates
  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Increasing colonoscopy referrals
  • Improving support of direct referrals
  • Improving revenue capture through lower no-show rates
  • Increasing patient satisfaction

Additional Resources

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