This document gives an overview of the evolving changes that happens in the US healthcare system and upcoming opportunities for nurse care professionals. It also explains the concepts of accountable care organizations, continuum of care , medical homes, and nurse care health clinics.
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Evolving Practice of Nursing & Patient Care
In recent years requirement for registered nurses has drastically increased, and this was basically due to the result of Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA) approved by congress in 2010 to provide better health care coverage to many people. The fundamental objective of this act is to retain resource allocation while rewarding the nurses for their coordination and quality of service. It allows nurses to focus on wellness and prevention of ailments, than ailment oriented treatment. This new approach of preventive care resulted in having less number of nurses working in acute care and more nurses working in public health care units, creating lots of job opportunities for more registered nurses.
The continuum of care changed the traditional view of acute patient care. The core objective of continuum of care is to reduce or eliminate critical illness by detecting and treating it early. Some of the common practices followed in continuum of care are self care education, preventive diagnosis and screening. Here nurses will have an important role in providing education, patient evaluation, and coordination of care with multiple providers, and communicating it effectively to patient’s family, representatives and health care community. The most important aspect of continuum of care is coordination and communication of healthcare progression to appropriate members of the health care community group, (ANA, 2010, Page 4).
The term Accountable Care Organization (ACO) has come from Medicare Shared Savings with an objective to ensure quality, appropriateness and efficiency of the health care service provided. This Organization includes professionals such as Doctors, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants. An ACO which is large and more integrated will have patients from Medicare beneficiaries, homeless, and uninsured.
The concept of ‘medical home’ or ‘patient centered medical home’ is evolved after the introduction of the terminology ‘American Academy of Pediatrics’ in 1967. This is a team based model managed by physicians to provide comprehensive care for children, adults and youths. A ‘medical home’ is a health care service model that provides a continuum of care to the patients with an objective to maximize health outcome. Also nurses will be helpful in providing patient evaluation, education, assuring continuity and coordination, and finally communicating it effectively to the health care team, patient, patient’s family and representatives. (ANA, 2010, page.4).
A nurse managed health clinic is a health care service center that provides health care services to the medically undeserved rural population of Unites States having limited access to health care service providers. They provide health care service to thousands of underinsured and uninsured patients every year. Researches show that nurses working in Nurse Managed health clinics spent more time with patients and have more preventive care than physicians. These health centers are managed by advance practice nurses and nurse practitioners.
In conclusion, the current health care system is undergoing a major revamp to produce better patient care. This change from acute care to preventive care has brought lot of requirements for the registered nurses in various areas of health care services. Hence, it is important for the nurse care professional to target on these opportunities and make the most it by delivering qualitative health care services to patients through prevention and wellness.
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