We've found, throughout our careers, that nurses can be some of the most innovative, effective medical providers in the healthcare system.
So we weren't surprised to read a RAND research report summarizing the deep success of three nurse-designed care models.
Their commonalities have a lot to teach all medical providers… and their challenges illuminate the challenges that all who seek to improve medicine tend to face.
RAND researchers examined three nurse-designed care models that have been recognized by the American Academy of Nursing's Edge Runner program: Centering Pregnancy, INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament (INSIGHTS), and Family Practice and Counseling Network (the Network). The Edge Runner program supports innovative care models, designed by nurses, that advance a holistic care model for an underserved population.
These care models were all exceptionally successful and had these commonalities:
- Collaboration with diverse partners and major hospital systems
- Fostering social support systems
- An understanding of "non-healthcare" needs of patients: stresses, overall health, and community context.
- Focus on integrating health services and systems.
- Commitment to empowering patients.
- A dedicated "champion" nurse that pioneers collaborative efforts.
The common thread? These initiatives focus on healthcare collaboration -- in the broadest sense -- and do care coordination at a high level. In other words, these programs are models and pioneers for the future of healthcare.
Their barriers and obstacles, then, are equally interesting:
- Sustainable funding.
- Societal bias to individual care.
- A tendency of health care providers to "stay inside the walls"
- Inconsistent training.
These programs are models for all of us who are working to improve healthcare -- and their barriers are sobering reminders of the barriers we all face. But we applaud these nurses' efforts and hope that we can contribute in some way to their success.
If you're innovating new models of care, and want to use telemedicine to support your efforts, you can get it for free here: