Friday, June 19, 2015

Renewed Interest in Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care is not a new idea. It was quite popular when I was in nursing school in the mid 1970's. It's what drove me out of hospital-based care and into home health care within three years of graduation. I wasn't able to make the difference I wanted to make because we couldn't achieve patient-centered care.

Reemergence of Patient-Centered Care
Nurse Blog CarnivalNow as we are mandated to cut and manage the soaring costs of healthcare and improve outcomes all at the same time, the importance of patient-centered care is reemerging. To a new generation of nurses and health care professionals it is new and exciting, and to those of us familiar with it, we are once again inspired. I hope this time around it really catches fire. I know that it has been integral to quality home health and hospice care for decades and one of the reasons they are thriving industries today.

So what is the fuss all about? It's not that complex, but I still believe hospitals will struggle to achieve patient-centered care wholeheartedly just because there simply is not, and probably never will be, adequate staffing and nurse-patient ratios. Perhaps if the concept begins to prove to lower costs and improve outcomes, administrators will see the light and make some changes. Yes, I know I'm a dreamer. But think of the impact we could have on wellness and preventative care if all nurses had the opportunity to practice true patient-centered care!

Integrating the Whole Patient into the Plan of Care
Patient-centered care means whole-patient care. This is why it works well in home health and hospice. The nurse (and the care team) meets the patient, his family, his caregivers, his pets, and despite the best HIPAA efforts, often his nosy neighbors. With a glimpse into the patient's home and environment we get to see his true lifestyle, culture, traditions, beliefs, superstitions, fears, wants, desires, and all of what makes up this patient. In the physician's office, clinic, ER, or hospital room we only see small parts of the picture.

The home health or hospice nurse becomes the eyes and ears of the physician often to learn why the patient is non-committal or non-compliant; why the treatment is not effective; why the patient is not improving. In that sterile environment of the hospital he thrived. But back home he has his whole-person lifestyle to contend with. The plan of care has to include these factors.

Empowering Patients
Patient-centered care means we need to examine and consider all of the components of the patient. The patient's values, cultural traditions, social circumstances, financial matters, family situations, and personal preferences have to become an integral part of the plan of care.

Once we meet and see the whole patient, patient-centered care involves:
  • providing coordination of care and open communication with all members of the team including the patient and designated family members  
  • providing support and empowering the patient to take responsibility
  • providing ready access to information and care 
  • the autonomy to make decisions without judgement
As we educate the patient and monitor the plan of care we have to include all of these factors in order to help guide the patient and empower him to understand his health status, his options and the benefits and risks without bias or judgement. We have to give the patient the information and the right to make informed choices and then the guidance to help him achieve the best outcomes possible under the circumstances. Again we cannot judge or present bias; only information and options as we move forward with the plan of care.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement have conducted many studies on patient-centered care and the results show improved patient outcomes, higher quality health care, and a higher level of patient engagement. All of these will lead us to a much improved overall health status and eventually help to contain and lower the staggering costs of health care.

How is patient-centered care working in your job? 

This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog Carnival. More posts on this topic can be found at Big Red Carpet Nursing. Find out how to participate.

Patient-centered care
Patient-Centered Care: What it Means and How to Get There
Chasing the Quality Chasm

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Registration is Open for the Fall Managed Care Forum 2015!

The Fall Managed Care Forum will be held at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, NV on Nov 12-13, 2015. The Forum features a multitude of presentations by healthcare professionals who are highly credentialed and experts in their field. The speakers highlight new trends in practices, technology, and issues related to managed care. Between presentations, attendees will have opportunities to explore a large exhibit hall, grab something to eat, and converse with their colleagues, the speakers and the many exhibitors. Nurses have the chance to attend the AAMCN Pre-Conference which takes place on Nov 11 at the same location. Attendees have the opportunity to earn from 14-18 continuing education credits.

Members of the American Association of Managed Care Nurses will receive the opportunity for free registration. Registration for non-members costs $695 and similar conferences offered from other associations cost upwards of $900! Who wouldn't want to take advantage of this amazing savings? Members receive the same opportunity for the Spring Managed Care Forum (April 21-22, 2016 at the Gaylord Palms Marriott, Orlando, FL).

You can enjoy the Bellagio Resort in your free time as well! The Bellagio has many amenities to offer like 5 beautiful pools, spas, and courtyards, indoor botanical gardens, live entertainment, and not to mention all of the fun that comes from visiting Las Vegas, NV.

The Forum is intended for:

  • Nurse executives of plans, provider groups, hospital and health systems, IPAs, PHOs and other integrated delivery systems and networks
  • Nurse care managers of plans, provider groups, hospital and health systems, IPAs, PHOs and other integrated delivery systems and networks
  • Vice presidents, directors of managed care, contracting managers from hospital and health systems
  • Executive directors and board members of IPA, PHOs and other integrated delivery systems and networks
  • Medical Directors of purchasers, plans, provider groups, hospital and health systems, IPAs, PHOs and other integrated delivery systems and networks

Learn more about the Fall Managed Care Forum.


Go to the AAMCN website to become a member and get the opportunity for free registration to the forum.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Local Healthcare leader Receives Rare Certification Specializing in Avoiding Unnecessary Hospitalization

Certification Enhances Experience and Expertise in Specialized Home Based Care

OMAHA, NE -- The National Readmission Prevention Collaborative (NRPC) announced today that LaNita Knoke, Healthcare Strategist at Home Instead, Inc., has successfully completed its Readmission Prevention certification program and has earned the distinction of Nationally Certified Readmission Prevention Professional (NCRP).  Ms. Knoke is the first healthcare leader in the state to receive this prestigious honor, held in high regard by leading acute hospitals who are now being penalized financially if patients are admitted unnecessarily to the hospital.

“This is quite an accomplishment for any healthcare professional, as it requires extensive knowledge of the healthcare sector, as well as a commitment to prioritizing the patient’s needs over financial incentives as directed in the Affordable Care Act,” said Josh Luke, Founder and President of the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative.  Luke, a veteran hospital CEO, went on to say “Health care leaders who make a commitment to become certified are true pioneers in patient centered care, and are leading the way in their local community by educating others on the importance of this issue. Many companies have seen increased partnerships and a growth in referrals from local hospitals as a result of becoming certified and sharing this valuable knowledge with others in the healthcare field.”

The certification is available to anyone who works in healthcare, residential care or wellness. The National Readmission Prevention Collaborative has a special program for healthcare students as well. The certification and more information can be found at 

“I am extremely proud of this certification and believe it is an honor to bring this expertise to our local community,” said Ms. Knoke.  “Making sure patients are safe and comfortable at home is the priority, and this program positions us at Home Instead Senior Care to be an even larger resource for our local community.”

The National Readmission Prevention Collaborative is found on line at:  The NRPC is a not-for-profit entity that serves as an online portal for Best Practice healthcare case studies and educational tools focused on value based and patient centered care.  For more information on the NRPC or the Certification, please email