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Interprofessional collaboration is vital in nursing for exceptional patient care. It involves nurses teaming up with other experts, leading to better results and organizational success. This teamwork improves communication, trust, and problem-solving across disciplines. By embracing collaboration, nurses can become healthcare leaders and patient advocates, working with various professionals for excellent care. This approach even leads to recognitions such as Magnet designation (Zidek & Medland, 2020). In a changing healthcare world, interprofessional teamwork helps nurses create effective care for patients, families, and communities. “Nursing’s focus on the healthcare consumer is enhanced by interprofessional collaboration, sharing knowledge, scientific discovery, integrative healthcare approaches, and social justice” (American Nurses Association, 2021).
I am the Program Manager/ Coordinator of an outpatient Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) and Interventional Psychiatry Clinic. My facility and team often need to assist in the seamless transition of inpatients who are receiving ECT, to continuing treatments in the ambulatory setting.
As the program manager/ coordinator, I am notified by the inpatients social worker and/or provider of the patient’s post-discharge treatment plan. I verify that the patient will have transportation to and from ECT treatments, and a responsible adult who will stay with them for 24 hours after the procedure. I will verify outpatient benefits to determine if pre-certification is required for outpatient ECT, and submit any necessary documentation to the insurance company if so. I then coordinate with the PACU/OR staff to ensure the patient’s upcoming treatments are changed to ambulatory and obtain an arrival time for their first ambulatory ECT treatment. Finally, I schedule a post-acute ECT follow-up with one of our outpatient interventional psychiatrists after the last scheduled treatment.
I find some gaps in the inpatient to outpatient transition of care, are that the education given to inpatients and their families is subpar, despite our best efforts. Patients often come to their first outpatient ECT treatment having not been NPO, or planning to call an Uber to take them home. In these cases, patients are sent home and their treatment is interrupted. It is also not unusual for patients to have been discharged, and the unit forgets to communicate with us. In these cases, procedures are not changed to ambulatory and patients don’t get arrival time calls from the PACU/OR, benefits are not verified, and pre-certs are not completed. This can cause significant delays and/or interruptions in treatment. I am constantly working on improving the communication and relationships between various levels of care, so I am hopeful to resolve these gaps.
American Nurses Association. (2021). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (4th ed.). American Nurses Association.
Zidek, S., MSN, RN, & Medland, J., PhD, RN. (2020). Interprofessional collaboration: A model for nurse executives to follow to support magnet® designation. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 50(10), E8–E11.
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