Providing quality patient care is a key nursing responsibility that requires both appropriate training and morale. Care coordination is a practice that allows for sharing responsibilities among colleagues, providing valuable recommendations, formulating intervention strategies, and implementing other solutions designed to control the progress of work. In addition to the necessary qualifications, nurses should be aware of ethical, legal, and other conventions that may influence the care process and guide decision-making. This essay is aimed at offering a big picture of how care coordination is carried out, what resources are required, and what the outcome of a well-designed care process can be for both patients and nurses.
Strategies for Collaborating with Patients and Families
In their work, nursing staff needs to emphasize direct interaction with patients and their families to earn trust and create a supportive care environment. In their analysis, Mackie et al. (2018) mention open communication as one of the main strategies to promote. Interaction implies honesty and, at the same time, support, which is necessary for the moral well-being of target patients and their loved ones. The authors also cite a patient privacy practice as a strategy that nurses should strictly follow (Mackie et al., 2018). The intentional disclosure of personal data is not only a legal but also an ethical violation, and it is crucial for nursing staff to ensure the confidentiality of information about their wards. Finally, a patient-centered care approach is another successful strategy to promote. Full attention to the target audience’s needs allows for maintaining a favorable microclimate in the care environment and normal relationships with patients’ relatives.
To implement the aforementioned strategies, nurses can pay attention to special mechanisms to hone the necessary attainments. As Oikarainen et al. (2019) argue, relevant educational interventions may be valuable algorithms to address the necessary skills and expand knowledge in a particular area. The researchers highlight the role of such interventions in strengthening nurses’ cultural competencies and argue that such training should be a priority (Oikarainen et al., 2019). To interact with patients and their families, nurses must have developed cross-cultural skills to prevent a person from being humiliated for any motives. Therefore, learning the necessary communication principles and applying them in the workflow are essential for junior medical specialists, which, in turn, has a positive effect on patient outcomes.
Change Management and Patient Experience
Achieving patient satisfaction is one of the success factors in nursing. According to Bastemeijer et al. (2019), “patient experience has become a key quality indicator for healthcare and is positively associated with patient safety and clinical effectiveness” (p. 157). One of the initiatives under change management programs is to encourage workflow flexibility. Nurses should not focus on the same operating conditions and need to constantly self-develop and participate in optimization projects. Bastemeijer et al. (2019) also note the involvement of patients as members of focus groups to test the effectiveness of specific initiatives. Patient-centered care can only be implemented if nurses have advanced communication skills. The organization of training courses for staff as part of project optimization can be a valuable solution to increase employees’ knowledge about the methods of interaction and modes of providing psychological assistance to patients.
Coordinated Care Plans Based on Ethical Decision-Making
A systematic approach to care planning should be based on the effective performance of immediate duties and ethical decision-making. Hu and Forgeron (2018) highlight the importance of coordinated programs within the context of an appropriate ethical framework. The authors analyze the relationship between ethical decision-making and moral distress in nurses and note that due to following ethical working principles, fatigue, burnout, and other negative conditions develop less frequently (Hu & Forgeron, 2018). While taking into account the human factor, junior medical staff interact with patients better and cooperate more successfully with each other. In addition, workplace conflicts are minimized, which is also a valuable implication. Thus, ethical decision-making is a crucial activity in the care coordination process.
By following this approach, nurses can gain patient trust and respect from colleagues. The avoidance of unethical forms of behavior helps develop such important behavioral traits as compassion, support, empathy, and many others. Hu and Forgeron (2018) present the concept of emotional intelligence, which consists in the ability to distinguish between manifestations of corresponding emotions and control one’s own. With these skills, nurses can make decisions based on patient benefit and never on personal gain. Regardless of the care environment, an ethical approach to work contributes to strengthening the image of nurses and characterizes employees as responsible ones. As a result, by adhering to appropriate methods of interaction with patients, junior medical staff gain experience and knowledge about the rational use of their professional potential.
Healthcare Policy Provisions and Their Implications
In their professional activities, nurses should consider not only community resources and ethical issues but also some healthcare policies. One of them is the Affordable Care Act, the national program that defines the principles for providing care to the population and the parties’ responsibilities (Parikh & Wright, 2017). Patients are given an opportunity to seek medical care when needed, which adds value to the national healthcare system from a social perspective. Along with basic care, this document also addresses some of the narrower aspects, such as end-of-life nursing assistance. Parikh and Wright (2017) give an example of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program that defines the conditions for the interaction of medical staff with patients in palliative care departments. Relevant policy provisions directly influence the quality of care and highlight the range of obligations for nurses, thereby allowing the population to rely on qualified support. Consequently, the efficiency of care is enhanced, which is the ultimate goal of the healthcare system.
Nurse’s Role in the Coordination and Continuum of Care
While carrying out their immediate duties, nurses play a vital role in the coordination and continuum of care. In healthcare institutions, they are the link between physicians and patients and are responsible for the microclimate and wards’ morale. When planning their activities, junior medical staff build stable and, at the same time, flexible activity algorithms to address the needs of as many patients as possible and implement a person-centered approach to work. Therefore, the role of nurses in providing quality care and support to the population is significant.
The analysis of the features of care coordination shows that in the course of professional activities, nurses should be guided by several factors, namely community resources, ethical considerations, and policy issues. Decision-making directly depends on the chosen principle of interaction with wards. To successfully collaborate with patients and their families, nurses should promote a patient-centered care approach and regard educational options as opportunities to enhance individual cultural competencies. Appropriate policies, such as the Affordable Care Act or the Hospice Quality Reporting Program, are aimed at improving patient outcomes through increased access to care services and productive nursing practice.
Bastemeijer, C. M., Boosman, H., van Ewijk, H., Verweij, L. M., Voogt, L., & Hazelzet, J. A. (2019). Patient experiences: A systematic review of quality improvement interventions in a hospital setting. Patient Related Outcome Measures, 10, 157-169.
Hu, J., & Forgeron, P. (2018). Thinking, educating, acting: Developing advanced practice nursing. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(2), 99-100.
Mackie, B. R., Marshall, A., & Mitchell, M. (2018). Acute care nurses’ views on family participation and collaboration in fundamental care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(11-12), 2346-2359.
Oikarainen, A., Mikkonen, K., Kenny, A., Tomietto, M., Tuomikoski, A. M., Meriläinen, M., Miettunnen, J., & Kääriäinen, M. (2019). Educational interventions designed to develop nurses’ cultural competence: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 98, 75-86.
Parikh, R. B., & Wright, A. A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act and end-of-life care for patients with cancer. Cancer Journal, 23(3), 190-193.