Emergency Department Patient Navigator Role and Training

Revised October 2020 with current title
Originally approved June 2014 titled “Emergency Department Patient Advocate Role and Training”


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports the use of patient navigators in the emergency department (ED).  If EDs choose to use patient navigators, there are a number of ways in which patient navigators can contribute to patient comfort, satisfaction, education and safety, including the following:

  • Patient experience and comfort
  • Patient complaints and compliments/service recovery
  • Patient protection and advocacy services
  • Discharge planning/readmission reduction
  • Community health and support services referrals
  • With proper knowledge and training, may provide resources and community-level support to patients and their families

ACEP recognizes that there are a variety of training programs, commensurate with responsibilities, to prepare individuals for patient navigator services in the ED.  At a minimum, patient navigators in the ED should receive training in customer service and be able to effectively communicate the ED mission and flow process, in addition to training for specific job functions.

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