processes by using time-sensitive, prioritized lists of only those patients who are being discharged over the next 48 hours (instead of patients who are being discharged weeks into the future). Home health care nurses and discharge planners stay in close contact with one another on a daily basis to make quick decisions about patient needs, including the need for home health care visitation. In just 3 months, the number of patients who saw a home health care provider within 24 hours increased from 44 to 77 percent (Labor Management Partnership, 2010).
In 2003, Riverside Medical Center implemented the Riverside Proactive Health Management Program (RiPHM)™, an integrated, systematic approach to health care management that promotes prevention and wellness and coordinates interventions for patients with chronic conditions. The model strengthens the patient-centered medical home concept and identifies members of the health care team (HCT)—a multidisciplinary group whose staff is centrally directed and physically located in small units within the medical office building. The team serves panel management and comprehensive outreach and inreach functions to support primary care physicians and proactively manage the care of members with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, asthma, osteoporosis, and depression. The expanded role of nurses as key members of the HCT is a major factor in RiPHM’s success. Primary care management nurse clinic RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide health care coaching and education for patients to promote self-management of their chronic conditions through face-to-face education visits and telephone follow-up. Using evidence-based clinical guidelines, such as diabetes and hypertension treat-to-target algorithms, nurses play important roles in the promotion of changes in chronic conditions and lifestyles, coaching and counseling, self-monitoring and goal setting, depression screening, and the use of advanced technology such as interactive voice recognition for patient outreach.
Through this model of care, nurses and pharmacists have become skilled users of health information technology to strengthen the primary care–based, patient-centered medical home. Nurses use disease management registries to work with assigned primary care physicians, and review clinical information that addresses care gaps and evaluate treatment plans. RiPHM has provided a strong foundation for the patient-centered medical home. By implementing this program and expanding the role of nurses, Riverside has sustained continuous improvement in key quality indicators for patient care.
Guided care is a new model for chronic care that was recently introduced within the Kaiser system. Guided care is intended to provide, within a primary care setting, quality care to patients with complex needs and multiple chronic conditions. An RN, who assists three to four physicians, receives training in such areas as the use of an electronic health record (EHR), interviewing, and the particulars of health insurance coverage. RNs are also provided skills in managing chronic conditions, providing transitional care, and working with families and community organizations (Boult et al., 2008).