Value-Added Care: A Paradigm Shift in Patient Care Delivery


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Abstract

EXCUTIBVE SUMMARYSpiraling costs in health care have placed hospitals in a constant state of transition. As a result, nursing practice is now influenced by numerous factors and has remained in a continuous state of flux. Multiple changes within the last 2 decades in nurse/patient ratio and blend of front-line nurses are examples of this transition. To reframe the nursing practice into an economic equation that captures the cost, quality, and service, a paradigm shift in thinking is needed in order to assess work redesign.Nursing productivity must be evaluated in terms of value-added care, a vision that goes beyond direct care activities and includes team collaboration, physician rounding, increased RN-to-aide communication, and patient centeredness; all of which are crucial to the nurse's role and the patient's well-being.The science of appropriating staffing depends on assessment and implementation of systematic changes best illustrated through a “systems theory” framework. A throughput transformation is required to create process changes with input elements (number of front-line nurses) in order to increase time spent in value-added care and to decrease waste activities with an improvement in efficiency, quality, and service.The purpose of this pilot study was two-fold: (a) to gain an understanding of how much time RNs spent in value-added care, and (b) whether increasing the combined level of RNs and unlicensed assistive personnel increased the amount of time spent in value-added care compared to time spent in necessary tasks and waste.

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