Nowadays, the shortage of nursing workforce, as well as a discouraging prognosis for the years to come, leads us to believe it is necessary to develop new innovative nursing care delivery models. As the main health care focus shifts to the elderly and chronic disease (Norlander, 2011, p. 401), there is a necessity to develop a nursing model tailored to the needs of the elderly. It would be aimed at addressing the issues of efficient chronic disease care in a nursing home in the U.S. The Nursing Home Innovative Care Model presented below is a proposed solution to the problems occurring in American nursing homes due to the lack of necessary nursing workforce.
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Description of the Nursing Home Innovative Care Model
With the need to manage chronic diseases most frequently occurring in the elderly (diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, etc.), it is necessary to improve health care efficiency especially in terms of the nursing workforce (National Council on Aging, n.d., para. 1). The Nursing Home Innovative Care Model is based on the use of iPods and state-of-the-art SmartBed Technology. The model is aimed at facilitating the patient handoffs, as well as gathering, storing, and sharing patient data between nurse practitioners. According to Hughes (2006), the use of technology allows nurses to reduce and optimize their workload, thereby gaining a possibility to focus on the most critical issues of patient care (p. 98).
Nurse-led and nurse-managed health care
The proposed model was developed based on the difficulties the nurses were experiencing in a nursing home setting. The transfer of information between different shifts was inefficient and led to various misunderstandings, thereby decreasing the efficiency of patient care. With the implementation of this model, each nurse practitioner can upload patient data effortlessly at the end of her shift. The incoming nurse receives the update on her iPad that includes both the previous nurse’s notes and the data collected by the SmartBed Technology System.
Partnerships and collaboration
The model suggests establishing partnerships and collaborations at the professional level. It facilitates data sharing not only between nurse practitioners but also between nurses and social workers, nurses, and nutritionists, as well as between nurses and physicians. At the organizational level, there is also a possibility of connecting with the nearest hospital to get a physician consult in case of an emergency.
Continuity of care across settings
The model allows for efficient communication between the nursing home and the hospital in case the need arises. Patient needs are addressed consistently due to the full spectrum of medical data stored on the iPads, which can be transferred to the hospital database at a moment’s notice. The patient’s family can be contacted quickly in case there is an emergency transfer to the hospital. Thus, efficient continuity of care is ensured.
High-technology is employed for the implementation of the Nursing Home Innovative Care Model, i.e. a combination of a patient monitoring system and data processing and sharing system. A system of iPads provides an efficient data management network, gathering information from the SmartBed Technology System. The latter is essentially a sensor mat placed under the patient’s mattress. It registers the patient’s heart rate, movements, respiration, and sleep patterns (Pogorelc, 2012b, para. 5). The obtained data is automatically uploaded to the iPad with a notification for the nurse currently on duty. The iPad network allows for efficient data storage, analysis, and transfer between the nurses, as well as between nurses and physicians, and nurses and social workers. It is a cloud-based model that is integrated into the Electronic Medical Record System (Pogorelc, 2012a, para. 3).
Development/Implementation Team for the Nursing Home Innovative Care Model
Aside from nurse practitioners and registered nurses, the team includes consultant physicians, nutritionists, social workers, psychologists, and informatics technicians. As non-medical personnel, the latter is crucial for integration of the model, as they provide technical support for the data management platform, as well as for the SmartBed Technology. Psychologists and social workers provide psychological support in case of any difficulties the patients might experience. Nutritionists keep track of the patients’ eating regimen, and physicians are consulted in case of emergency. The referrals are handled through the iPad management platform, which allows for effortless data transfer with a notification for the indicated expert.
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Evaluation of the Nursing Home Innovative Care Model Outcome Measurement
After the implementation of the model, it is necessary to measure the outcomes, i.e. the change in patient care quality, patient satisfaction, and staff satisfaction. All these outcomes must be measured to determine the effectiveness of the implemented system. The measurement system involves the comparison of the number of hospital referrals before and after the implementation, the overall measurement of patient satisfaction, and staff working efficiency. After the first month, nurses should determine whether the implemented model is as easy and beneficial to use as it was initially promised. If the time that nurses devote to actual patient care instead of data management has increased compared to the time before the implementation, the overall evaluation is positive.
The Nursing Home Innovative Care Model should be implemented, as it facilitates the process of collection of patient data, its storage, and sharing between the nurses and other medical personnel. The model is based on the use of modern technology, which will enhance the efficiency of medical services. The suggested model will contribute to the improvement in patient care quality, as well as in the overall efficiency of the working process in the facility.
Hughes, F. (2006). Nurses at the forefront of innovation. International Nursing Review, 53(2), 94-101.
National Council on Aging. Chronic disease management. (n.d.). Web.
Norlander, L. (Ed.). (2011). Transformational models of nursing across different care settings. Report: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (Appendix G). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine.
Pogorelc, D. (2012). HEAL iPad platform aims to improve patient handoff, reduce nurse overtime. Web.
Pogorelc, D. (2012). Bed sensors, virtual pets and three other innovations for the nursing home. Web.