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Patient Navigators Linked to Shorter Hospital Stays

But PN and non-PN patients show no difference in 30-day readmissions

The use of patient navigators (PNs) as inpatient care facilitators shortens hospital length of stay, according to a study published online in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Janice L. Kwan, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues evaluated a PN program’s effects on communication between patients and providers during general medical hospital admission from July 2010 through March 2014. PNs acted as members of the inpatient care team, but without clinical responsibilities.

The authors found that 5,628 admissions (4,592 patients) had PNs and that 2,213 admissions (1,920 patients) did not have PNs. Admissions with PNs were significantly shorter than admissions without PNs (6.2 days vs. 7.5 days, respectively; P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in 30-day readmission rates between the two groups (13.1% vs. 13.8%, respectively; P = 0.48).

“Implementation of this intervention was associated with a reduction in length of stay without an increase in 30-day readmission,” the authors concluded.

Sources: Medical Xpress; August 21, 2015; and JHM; August 10, 2015.

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