By Richard Cowling, PhD, APRN-BC, AHN-BC, FAAN, ANEF, vice president of academic affairs at Chamberlain College of Nursing
(Content courtesy of Chamberlain College of Nursing)
We are in the midst of an exciting time for healthcare. New technology, electronic medical records, multidisciplinary therapies, patient portals and more make integrated care teams essential for complete and consistent patient care.
Integrated care teams are changing the way we deliver care by enabling interdisciplinary, collaborative communication between healthcare providers, enhancing the continuity of care from hospital to home and providing enhanced person-centered care for each patient.
This integrated approach to care is building on what the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calls a Culture of Health, where good health is highly valued and flourishes across geographic, demographic and social sectors, and individuals and families have the opportunity to make choices that lead to the healthiest lives possible.
While each team member brings a valuable perspective to the treatment and care of a patient, a combination of clinical knowledge and regular patient access places nurses in a central position to provide care within these interprofessional teams.
From the patient’s bedside, nurses are well equipped to connect the dots between the variables that affect a patient’s wellness — habits, physical condition, mental and emotional state, and family background — and enable integrated care teams to best serve the patient as a whole person. By keeping a patient’s electronic medical records up to date, helping a patient understand aftercare instructions and ensuring the seamless continuation of care from hospital to home, nurses make a profound difference on integrated care teams and for the patient.
It is essential that nurses who play a pivotal role in providing person-centered care have a strong foundation in collaboration and clinical excellence.
At Chamberlain College of Nursing, we value teamwork and community. We prepare our students to provide extraordinary service, expertise and care to patients and their integrated care teams. We encourage students to pursue the advanced degrees that will prepare them to act as mentors in establishing integrated care in the clinical setting, provide their patients with comprehensive medical care, and make recommendations for preventive care that can change patients’ lives.
As nurses, we contribute to a culture of health in our communities and empower our patients to practice good preventive health and wellness habits and live well.