Use of patient navigators as "inpatient care facilitators" has been shown to shorten hospital lengths of stay, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Janice L. Kwan, M.D., from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and her colleagues evaluated a patient navigation (PN) program's effects on communication between patients and providers during hospital admissions for inpatient services (July 2010 through March 2014). Patient navigators participated as members of the care team, but without clinical responsibilities. Patient naviagtors can be social workers, community health workers, non-licensed staff, etc.
Results: Of the 5,628 admissions with a PN assigned to the Care Team, stays by patients with a PN on the Care Team were significantly shorter than admissions without PN (6.2 versus 7.5 days).