People with multiple and persistent mental and physical health problems have high rates of hospital transition failures. New research led by a University of Pennsylvania nursing professor points to needed modifications in the transitional care model that could effectively accommodate the intense psychosocial needs of those with serious mental illness.
Coordination of care during transition from hospital to home for a person with an acute psychiatric illness is a complex phenomenon, particularly for patients with comorbid medical conditions, Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, associate professor of nursing, said in a news release. Our research indicates that a transitional team approach that includes a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a social worker, and a peer support would provide the support needed for successful hospital to home transitions for these patients,
Hanrahans research, A Pilot Randomized Control Trial: Testing a Transitional Care Model for Acute Psychiatric Conditions, was published in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and is the first to study the transitional care model in the population with serious mental illness. The research team included Phyllis Solomon, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania Social Policy and Practice School, and Matthew Hurford, MD, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Hanrahan is a national leader in psychiatric mental health nursing and known for her work documenting the psychiatric nurse workforce and her expertise in mental health services research. She is a faculty member in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn Nursing, and a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Hanrahan is involved with state and national policy initiatives such as parity, quality indicators, creating a Web-based advanced practice psychiatric nurse employment guide, and reviewing rural-urban continuum codes for reimbursement.