Nurses have realized for a long time that attention to detail and an ability to listen and effectively teach are core skills to providing competent care. This article shows that the rest of the world is starting to get it now too. The negative effects of hospital readmissions, for both the hospitals as well as the patients, have become prominent in our healthcare industry, and as we all try to improve upon those rates, we need to find ways to improve our “handoff” communication. I see it all the time when I begin to take care of a client at home after a hospital discharge…..the client may be expecting one thing only to be told that the orders say something different…..sometimes it’s something extra, sometimes it’s something that’s missed, but one way or the other the unexpected has come about from a lack of effective communication. I worked in the ICU for many years, and I saw first-hand how difficult it was to have the different departments all know what was going on with one individual patient…..as the patient went from the ICU to the operating room to CT scan and then back to the ICU and having blood drawn.
All those people get involved in the care but did they really know everything they needed to know to provide the best care possible. In the hospital, that role of helping to pull that all together was given to Primary Nursing. And it works. In the home environment, I think that a strong agency with strong nursing at its core will be able to mimic this Primary Nursing and greatly help to keep all services in line for the patient and ultimately help to prevent the unneeded and unwanted hospital readmission.