Team training takes off as new era in health reform dawns
A growing number of academic medical centers and health systems are offering training to students and working professionals in how clinicians should collaborate to provide coordinated care and work together on new models such as patient-centered medical homes and accountable care networks….
By Andis Robeznieks
Why “care coordination” and why now? Care coordination has been proposed as a solution to many of the seemingly intractable problems of American health care: high costs, uneven quality, and too frequent disappointing patient outcomes. More resources are devoted to health care per capita in the United States than in any other nation, yet our fragmented system is often characterized by communication failures and non-beneficial or redundant healthcare tests and services. This results in an unacceptable risk of error and an increase in cost, in terms of both resources and human suffering.
Many independent elements of U.S. health care are high quality, but these need to be better aligned to serve patients and the people and institutions that care for them. Current financial and structural incentives restrict potential for better patient care outcomes and effective resource allocation. Rather, they intensify the weaknesses inherent in the non-coordinated, independently functioning pieces of our health care system. The development and implementation of effective systems and processes to cure this current misalignment can benefit tremendously from the experience, professional competencies, and long-standing ethos of registered nursing.
Coordination of care is not a new idea, and it is certainly not new to registered nurses. In the context of a partnership guided by patients’ and families’ needs and preferences, the registered nurse is integral to patient satisfaction and care quality, as well as the efficient use of health care resources. Patient-centered care coordination is a core professional standard and competency for all nursing practice. Registered nurses understand that they are an essential component of the care coordination process to improve patients’ care outcomes, facilitate effective inter-professional collaboration, and decrease costs across patient populations and health care settings. What is well known to registered nurses, however, has not often been recognized outside of nursing. This white paper was initiated to highlight both the qualitative and quantitative accomplishments of registered nurses in care coordination.
More than 18,000 interviews have been conducted with
employers within the United States, including all 50 states,
the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to measure hiring
intentions between January and March 2014. The mix of
industries within the survey follows the North American
Industry Classification System (NAICS) Supersectors and
is structured to be representative of the U.S. economy. All
participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total
employment at your location to change in the three
months to the end of March 2014 as compared to the
Among U.S. employers surveyed, 17 percent expect to
add to their workforces, and 7 percent expect a decline in
their payrolls during Quarter 1 2014. Seventy-three
percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff
levels, and the remaining 3 percent of employers are
undecided about their Quarter 1 2014 hiring plans.