Continuity of Care in Nursing:
Continuity of care plays an important role in nursing and midwifery care. It is the coordination of health care services by health care providers for client where they meet needs that have arisen as a result of disability, accident or illness during moving from one health care setting to another and between and among health care professionals.
Principles and Process of Continuity Care in Nursing and Midwifery:
These principles is set out for the health care providers to improve their skill in nursing health care setting to ensure continuity of care for the clients who receive care and support from one health care setting to another. It should be noted here that, the main objects of this principle in nursing and midwifery is to maintains the clients well-being and prevent them from falling into crisis.
All the nursing and midwifery health care providers have to maintain the below principles during providing continuity of care to the clients:
1. Client or family involvement in decision making:
- A systemic process occurs that involves the client or family in care planning.
- Current, appropriate evidence-based information is provided in a timely manner including discussion of realistic goals and expected outcomes, to enable client or family to make informed choices.
2. Comprehensive client information:
- Initial assessment is a critical component of planning and includes assessment of the client or family needs strength and resources.
- Transfer information includes a plan of care with measureable outcomes that is understandable to the client and all care providers.
- Confidential health information collected in current, comprehensive and appropriately disseminated to the team members.
- Communication must be open, honest and facilitate equal sharing of information’s among the health care professionals.
- Communication between the providers and the clients or family occurs through regular discussion and written documentation following current legislation and employer policies.
- Client information and the plan of care are easily accessible to the team members.
- Responsible health care provider should work together and share information’s about their local care and support system and services.
- Communication is timely to insure that all the team members are aware of their role in providing for continuity of care.
4. Clear systemic process:
- A system wise process is initiated that enables quality care across a variety of settings.
- Assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of continuity of care activities are client focuses and comprehensive.
- Policies role descriptions, protocols methods of follow-up and programme evaluation provide consistency of continuity of care.
5. Coordination of nursing care through each transition of the client:
- Continuity of care requires a coordinated inter-disciplinary team approach.
- Each discipline brings a different perspective to planning.
- Knowledge about available resources and service is shared.
- Transition is uninterrupted succession of events.
- The client moving must be given with the relevant information’s in an accessible format about the local care and support provision in the authority they are moving to.
- Coordination overtime and across a variety of settings is essential.