What is Continuity of Care in Nursing?
Continuity of care is a distinct concept which remains intangible in the literature, and other terms such as case management, coordination of care and discharge planning. It is provided by registered nurse. At present, continuity of care is described by two main elements such as “focus on the client’s health needs” and “care over time that means past, present and future”.
Role of Registered Nurse in Continuity of Care:
Registered nurse plays a principle role in continuity of care using the nursing process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Registered nurses provide holistic nursing care to individuals, families, communities or populations by using critical thinking, skill, professional competence and evidence based knowledge.
The nursing process in continuity of care is complex due to the number and variety of setting and the involving people. Registered nurses are leaders in implementing collaborative practice.
Activities of the registered nurse in continuity of care include the following:
- Conducting comprehensive assessment including verification of the client’s health status.
- Considering of formal and informal support systems, environmental live styles, cultural values, believes and community resources.
- Promoting and facilitating continuity of care across care settings and between health care providers by sharing information’s on the client’s current situation.
- Facilitating the coordination of care from all the health care providers.
- Registered nurse directly helped in assessment, planning and implementation, monitoring, advocacy, coordination, reassessment, evaluation of outcomes and discharge planning for the clients.
- Defining nursing responsibility and the contribution of nursing to the overall plan of care.
- Providing direct client care.
- Helping the client in navigating the health care system through understanding its system, structure and process, and also provides them with strategies to work within that process.
- Educating the client or family to other informed and knowledgeable choices.
- Understanding the respective roles and clearly defined responsibilities of other care providers.
- Advocating for work place policies that support continuity of care.
- Participating in evaluation of continuity of care.
- Educating self and others regarding best practices in continuity of care.
- By maintaining proper continuity of care process nurses help the client to reduce cost, reduce resource use and also improve quality of health care and achieve desired outcomes.