Even though the USA government has invested a lot of resources in health care services, often it is criticized for delivering fragmented care. The care coordinators play an important role in preventing this notion of fragmented healthcare by enabling patients to shift from one care area to another with ease.
In modern-day healthcare, patients require someone to assist them in accessing the continuity of the care program. The very name of care coordinator refers to a trained nurse who is responsible for streamlining the care and treatments given to a patient suffering from chronic diseases such as heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
He plays a significant role in the care of an individual patient who is suffering from any chronic illness. His position is that of a supervisor towards administering interdisciplinary care by coordinating with the different specialists to give better attention to the patient. He is equally responsible for monitoring and evaluating the care being delivered.
There is a wide range of responsibilities associated with a care coordinator, so their responsibilities vary. It usually starts with a meeting with the patients and their family members to discuss the requirements and the services and help they want. From that, a care plan is formulated, and it demands the coordinator to be often in terms of other care departments to make sure the services are delivered in a standard manner. Some routine tasks they have to perform which includes-
• Creating a care plan and reorganizing things as necessary when an emergency comes.
• Paying a visit to the patients and examine the care they have received and put it in a document.
• Communicating with the rest of the medical team to establish the interventions that have been made and also decide when any such further responses are required.
• Staying updated with the latest developments in this field by way of various reading, participating in workshops and connecting with other professionals in this field to enhance the knowledge base. The care coordinators must possess some listening skills as it is imperative to listen to what the patient is trying to say, as a mark of showing respect to his rights and conforming to the laws and the standard of care authorized by the employer. He should also be responsible for the safety of the team as the supervision of the whole medical team is entrusted upon him.
• Staying updated with the latest developments in this field by way of various reading, participating in workshops and connecting with other professionals in this field to enhance the knowledge base.
The care coordinators must possess some listening skills as it is imperative to listen to what the patient is trying to say, as a mark of showing respect to his rights and conforming to the laws and the standard of care authorized by the employer. He should also be responsible for the safety of the team as the supervision of the whole medical team is entrusted upon him.
In multiple settings they work, ranging from the emergency departments in the hospitals, ambulance care, and specialty units, at people’s homes and long term care facilities. They are needed any time by the patients to navigate the healthcare arena.
So, it could be an office based job emphasizing on administering care to the elderly patients or could be a hospital-based job responsible for ensuring the responsibility of the patients or could be in specialist’s clinics where the patients visit these professionals.
If to see from the perspective of a patient, the care coordinators are deeply valued by the patient because in case they are the first people to be contacted if there is a change in the requirement or if there is any irregularity with the service.
Many of the older adults who have some incapacity require highly complex care, and the care coordinators enable them to get rid of this burden by eliminating all the obstructions come in the way of proper care.
If there is a seamless service being delivered to the patient it will prevent the further deterioration of the health of the patients and will also minimize the overall healthcare cost and any possibility of additional intervention of care shortly.
This indirectly helps a patient to regain his independence to a certain extent where there is no longer any intervention required in the process of care.
There is no formal degree available for care coordinators in a nursing school. Usually, a bachelor degree in nursing is required to get an entry into this field. However, in certain instances, a degree in a related field such as healthcare administration will be sufficient to climb the ladder of success. Some employers may ask for a master’s degree in nursing. If anyone has considerable experience in working in a clinical area, then that person will also be hired.
However, the renowned American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AACN), a non-government organization that offers a course on various dimensions of care coordination.
• Patient advocacy
• Patient and family education and engagement
• Coaching and counseling
• Patient-centered care planning
• Nursing process
• Teamwork and collaboration
• Population health management
• Nursing informatics
The nature of care is different for different patients depending on their health condition. , and thus they aim to maximize the healthcare services based on these requirements.
In the USA, the salary of the care coordinators depends on the location and the employer. The reputed Glassdoor analysis has stated the average salary of a care coordinator as $76,710 per annum. It also says that the highest paying states in the USA for care coordinators are California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Oregon.
Research says that there will be an increasing demand for nurses in the coming years in the USA and it is expected to rise by 15 percent by the year 2026. This is because the number of Baby Boomers is growing in the USA and this gives rise to the necessity of a proper healthcare system. Moreover, healthcare organizations are earnestly looking for ways to minimize the cost of healthcare, and this makes the care coordinators extremely valuable medical professionals in the most real sense.