Improving outcomes through care coordination: Measuring care coordination of nurse practitioners

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Background:Gaps in care coordination (CC) between inpatient and outpatient settings for children with medical complexity (CMC) can result in treatment delays, gaps in communication, missed appointments, medication discrepancies, and ultimately impacts the provision of quality care.Local problem:As care for pediatric patients with medical complexity moves into community settings, various ambulatory settings, including infusion settings, are caring for patients who would otherwise often require inpatient hospitalization to receive their care. To better accommodate this growing demand, nurse practitioners (NPs) have been used to support these nurse-led infusion programs. The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to quantify and describe the outcomes of CC by NPs in this ambulatory setting.Methods:A quantitative design was used.Interventions:We captured nonreimbursable CC activities provided by NPs and associated outcome(s) among pediatric patients seen in two ambulatory infusion clinics, at Boston Children's Hospital between January and April 2017, and generated summary statistics for this QI project.Results:There were 259 nonreimbursable CC encounters. Most of the CC activities prevented delays in treatment (38%), adverse reaction to medicine because of medication discrepancies (8%), need for additional subspecialist visits (10%), missed infusion appointments (5%), and emergency department visits (2%).Conclusion:Nonreimbursable CC provided by NPs in a tertiary hospital-based ambulatory program improved outcomes of care for CMC and helped facilitate health care use. This project quantified and described the outcomes of CC provided by NPs, and the value of CC on CMC.

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