I am thankful for so much in my life, and today I am even more thankful and proud of my choice to become a nurse given a new Medicare rule that passed this week (November 20, 2012); it is a provision that will pay registered nurses to help patients make the successful transition from hospitals to other settings.
This is a monumental event further validating the effectiveness of nursing involvement in care coordination services. And although this provision specifically focuses on “transitional care management” services (for the prevention of re-admissions of those recently discharged from the acute care setting) within the Medicare population, this action demonstrates and validates the importance of how the nursing practice (observation, assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, intervention and evaluation of care) can positively impact the coordination of care and subsequent health outcomes.
As a Registered Nurse who has recently started an independent nurse-led company, I am excited to be able to further demonstrate the positive impact that nursing services has on the coordination of care of patients. Our nursing services assist cancer patients and their loved ones navigate the healthcare system while advocating for cancer care that is patient-centered. We have developed metrics to measure the relationship of our interventions to client outcomes which will ultimately be measured by a client satisfaction survey (Our goal: improve the quality of patients cancer-care experience while promoting better health outcomes through patients ability to make informed decisions = empowerment), but we also hope to implement program metrics which will look at the impact of well-coordinated-care through cost savings (some examples: early detection and treatment: right therapy for the patient through informed decision-making; avoidance of hospital admissions through side-effect education and treatment adherence; reduction of duplicative testing, monitoring treatment regimens through better coordinated care).
So although the new provision’s scope is limited, I see this as an opportunity for nurse-led businesses to showcase their ability to be effective in improving the health outcomes of patients. Indeed, an exciting time to be a Registered Nurse who cares...
Please see the link to read more on this subject in the HealthLeaders Media report
Please read Value of Nursing Care Coordination released in June 2012 by the American Nurses Association