Evolving Practice of Nursing and Patient Care Delivery Models
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The last achievements in the healthcare reform have considerable effects on how the whole country will develop in the coming years. In other words, the quality and availability of healthcare resources can have considerable impacts on collective productivity, economic growth, and other indicators of social performance in the country. With the growing quality and affordability of health care, people are more likely to seek medical help before their health problems become irresolvable. As a result, any improvements in the models used to delivery quality health care will also bring similar improvements in other areas of life, including economics, culture, and social performance.
One of the principal aspects of healthcare delivery is a continuum of care, which outlines the structure and complexity of the healthcare services available to patients during the lifespan. It is also a combination of healthcare options that are provided to patients every time they come in touch with the system of health care. It is the range of services that allows the patient to address his health needs and improve his wellbeing and quality of life. The concept of care continuum informs the direction of everyday healthcare management and delivery decisions. It also provides an overarching framework for meeting the needs of diverse patients on an everyday basis. Conceptually and empirically, the continuum of care is understood as an implicit agreement of the patient who presents to a healthcare provider to receive all kinds of healthcare and nursing care services according to his or her wellness needs. It means that healthcare providers define the scope of care needed to make the patient feel better (Janson, 2012).
The continuum of care must be complete and absolute to ensure the best outcomes for patients and healthcare providers. It must incorporate different care options, which include but are not limited to mental health, rehabilitation, home health care, assisted living, as well as skilled nursing care. The continuum of care brings diverse multidisciplinary professionals together to outline a comprehensive strategy for treating and managing patients' conditions. These professionals communicate and exchange ideas that will help them improve the patient's health in a safe and cost-effective manner. By using the continuum of care, they seek to link the patient to the care resources he or she may need in his or her disease situation (Allison, 2015).
Here, a note should be made on Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. They occupy a distinct and recognizable place among the evolving practice of nursing and patient care delivery models. The purpose of an ACO, as well as many other emerging organizational forms in the healthcare system, is to promote and streamline the delivery of adequate healthcare services while measuring changes in their performance results. A perfect ACO will use a whole set of reimbursement principles, which reflect its commitment to cost-effectiveness and justice in allocating scarce healthcare resources. It is best suited to serve the needs of primary, secondary and tertiary care (Cooks, 2014).
ACO is one of the many concepts that are discussed in this evolving practice of nursing and patient care delivery models essay. However, it is also one of the most suitable approaches for managing the complex and diverse concerns of patients. On the one hand, ACOs give nurses and other healthcare practitioners a firm ground in defending the interests of patients. On the other hand, the models and principles used to run ACOs also empower nurses to implement structural quality improvements, thus making care a comprehensive and accessible resource for everyone. ACOs have been particularly effective in reducing the costs of care for patients, and they have also become the pioneers in pursuing other strategic improvements in the healthcare system.
One more model of nursing care currently in use is the medical home model. It was first designed and presented to the public at the end of the 1960s. Its main purpose was to provide children with special needs with adequate and affordable medical care. However, the model gradually developed to incorporate even non-medical components. Moreover, it has become much more collaborative, involving parents, family caregivers, multidisciplinary nurses, and other community professionals. Today, the medical home model brings together patients and families to provide optimal resources for perfect health care (Tyson et al., 2011).
The medical home model operates according to several explicit principles and well-defined values. For example, every patient who comes in contact with the medical home model is assigned a physician who monitors his compliance with the therapeutic regimen and provides regular advice to facilitate his recovery. All care decisions are integrated and coordinated to meet the needs of every patient. The physician monitors the quality, safety and affordability of all care options offered to the patient according to his condition. Evidence-based practice is the basis for making therapeutic decisions in the medical home model. This is particularly relevant in the context of pediatric care, when several multidisciplinary specialists should come together to make clinical decisions on small patients' health (Tyson et al., 2011).
One more model to be considered in this essay is a nurse-managed health clinic. This model has gained its prominence in locations and populations which have historically been underserved. Rural territories have benefited greatly from the provision of health clinics, as nurses provide the whole spectrum of primary care services and refer patients to secondary and tertiary clinics in urban territories. This model emphasizes the importance of effective management in chronic diseases. It also fits in the context of non-profit healthcare delivery, with an active support of other institutions such as universities and public service groups (Edison & Monach, 2011).
Such clinics are a practice model of the future. They promise to reduce the costs of healthcare and provide nurses and physicians with a stronger voice in clinical decisions. The model has already brought tangible improvements in many aspects of healthcare delivery. It can provide patients with easier access to primary healthcare services, but nurses will need to be sure that the model is properly and effectively implemented (Jackson et al., 2015).