The use of “patient navigators” can significantly reduce the overuse of emergency departments and the number of hospital readmissions, according to a recent study.

In a pilot program conducted at three western Pennsylvania hospitals, nonclinical patient navigators helped patients gain access to essential healthcare services, according to the study.

These improved outcomes included a 43% reduction in non-emergency use of the emergency room, and a 60% reduction in 30-day readmissions for targeted diagnosis-related groups, according to the study.