Care Coordination Tough to Define, Measure
In the first part of an in-depth discussion with two nurse leaders, the emphasis is on the importance of clearly defining and measuring a major area for cost-cutting in hospitals—care coordination.
Care coordination is an increasingly important factor in improving quality and reducing hospital readmissions, but it remains tough to define, quantify, and measure. I recently caught up with two nurse leaders who are leading the way in making care coordination not only more clearly defined, but also more quantifiable:
- Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN, Arizona State University nursing associate professor and editor of Care Coordination: The Game Changer—How Nursing is Revolutionizing Health Care
- Maureen Dailey, PhD, RN, CWOCN, ANA senior policy fellow and specialist in healthcare quality improvement and measurement development
The following is part one of our conversation. Look for part two next week.
HLM: Why is it important for care coordination to be measured and/or quantified?
Dailey: Care coordination, as Dr. Gerri Lamb often says, is a cost-cutting area that's so important to quality outcomes: clinical quality outcomes, and cost outcomes. In order to measure the quality of care coordination, it's very important that we have the right measures that reflect the quality of the care coordination from the team, including the largest group of healthcare professionals, the front-line providers: nurses.
To that, I'd like to mention that ANA has a series of care coordination documents; we have our ANA policy briefs, we have [an] ANA whitepaper on the value of nurses to care coordination, and we're very pleased to announce that the board in December approved the ANA's care coordination measurement framework.
In that document [is] a description of the framework's structural components, the measurement context that we're in, and a visual representation of the framework.