PGDF Advisory Council Member Dr. Jan Gryczynski and his team at Friends Research Institute have published a new study examining the use of patient navigation services in preventing hospital readmissions for those with substance use disorders.
The NIDA-funded study compared a group of patients receiving usual treatment with a group receiving an intervention called Navigation Services to Avoid Rehospitalization (NavSTAR), which is designed to reduce hospital readmissions by combining substance use disorder (SUD) consultation services with intensive case management and linkages to community resources.
Participants in the intervention group received consultation services from a multidisciplinary team made up of an addiction counselor, nurses, a social worker, psychiatrists, and psychiatry residents with addiction medicine specialty, in addition to coordinated case management by navigators who were social workers.
As a result, these patients had significantly fewer inpatient readmissions and were more likely to enter community-based SUD treatment within three months of discharge.
In an interview with The Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs, Dr. Gryczynski stated, "When I was first introduced to what Dr. Welsh was doing at UMMC, it was impressive to see the array of services that were provided in addiction medicine. It's one of the oldest addiction consultation services in the country that's integrated within a hospital, and it's well-staffed and resourced. But despite the availability of those services, we were still seeing the same patients come back again and again. There was a capacity to do referrals, but not to follow up with patients in the community. That's the gap that we sought to fill with the NavSTAR model - to create a bridge from the hospital to community services."
About PGDF: The Peter G. Dodge Foundation (PGDF) is a national nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping people lead lives free from the effects of alcohol addiction. As the only non-governmental funder focused on this issue, PGDF's work is critical to the health of the 16 million Americans who suffer with the deadly disease of alcohol use disorder. To learn more about the Peter G. Dodge Foundation, visit www.pgdf.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.