Care coordination is a function that ensures patients’ needs and preferences are met with respect to health services and information sharing. Although it is fairly new in the healthcare industry, the concept is not entirely foreign among nurses.

It has been recommended that nurses apply patient care coordination in nursing services. In the first experimental programme targeting chronic disease patients, the usage of care coordination led to positive outcomes.

Researchers also found that this strategy maximised the cost-effectiveness of healthcare services and eventually improved general health. Here, we look at how care coordination improves nursing in the healthcare system.

Unity of medical team is the key to a good healthcare system

The lack of unity among healthcare workers in the past was a factor that led to slow improvements in the healthcare system. For instance, nurses often have misunderstandings with other staffs from different departments.

To deal with this problem, the foundation of the care coordination concept incorporates unity as a key among healthcare practitioners – to improve the cooperation among nurses and other groups of clinicians – that eventually optimises the quality of a healthcare system.

They act as patient advocators who support patients’ decisions to the healthcare team members. They know the needs of patients and coordinate accordingly to physicians. This in sequence will form a supportive healthcare team.

In this manner, the treatment can be optimised to provide the best care services to patients and families. With that, the workflow also improves work efficiency among the nurses, when they handle the patients.

Improves quality of care

In the past, patients were overwhelmed with increased healthcare costs derived from unnecessary diagnostic tests and conflicting information of multiple care providers. Essentially, the ultimate goal of nurses is to provide high quality nursing care.

With care coordination, patients become the core of care plans and redundant care procedures are removed. The success of this healthcare reform has led to better controlled healthcare costs without compromising the quality of patient care.

Improves nurses’ knowledge, flexibility and resourcefulness

A patient care coordinator who works under one medical team will engage and cooperate with other healthcare disciplines. Over time, the teaching, learning and communication that take part outside of nursing practice will improve the nurse’s knowledge, skills and competencies.

Moreover, when nurses are involved in patient care plans, they are indirectly expanding their flexibility and resourcefulness. For nurses, remaining flexible and ingenious is one of the many (essential) soft skills that cannot be taught (or learnt) directly in schools. It is a life learning skill that nurses obtain through valuable experiences – which is crucial in evaluating nurses’ competency.

Nowadays, the abundant benefits of care coordination in healthcare systems have urged several educational institutions to offer care coordination courses. For nurses who desire to be an advocator for their patients, becoming a care coordinator would be an ideal career. MIMS

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