Case management entails a package of care that comprises an array of activities that differ extensively between programs (Hughes, 2010). Nursing case management targets individuals living with long-term health conditions. These patients have varying intensity of needs, and that should be prescribed effectively. Consequently, this has induced the greater need for effective hospital models as well as community-based models. This section will compare the community virtual ward model with the inpatient nursing care model.
The virtual ward model
The virtual ward resembles a ward in a hospital setting in the sense that it has clinical and administrative personnel that organize and offer direct care to people. The primary difference is that the virtual ward is not physically available to gather all the patients in a universal premise (Shi & Singh, 2012). Therefore, the care is offered in the patient’s house. The professional clinical staff provides nursing care and education for individuals to curb unnecessary hospital visits and provide an alternative to hospital admission. A clinical team staff seeks to facilitate self-care and handling of any long-term ailments such as leprosy within the patient’s home. This community model is better suited regarding patient engagement since they liaise with various services to enhance care delivery. These services include community physiotherapy, social services, counselors, and frequent family participation.
The Inpatient model
On the other hand, the inpatient hospital model offers care to patients whose condition meets the admission requirements to a hospital. The advancement in modern medicine and the prevalence of home-based models ensure that patients are admitted only when their conditions are complicated. Community-based care is cost-effective as opposed to hospital-based. For example, community-based care for a mental patient is more affordable because resources can be obtained from within the community.
Caregivers in the community find it easy to create rapport with their patients making it more satisfying to work compared to the hospital setting (Shi & Singh, 2012). Services within the community are provided more often thus increasing patients’ satisfaction. Patient-practitioner relationship is better in community-based care as opposed to hospital care thus improving patient satisfaction.
How these models impact nursing care
Community virtual wards support and facilitate independence among patients. Caregivers provide leadership and education for self-care to assist patients to get well and manage their conditions at home (Hughes, 2010). For instance, advice on nutrition, leprosy management, medication, and how to meet continuing health needs. This model is also useful in supporting patients recovering at home and those in need of end-of-life care. Home-based care is also an excellent platform to enable patient-centered care through delivery to the patient’s convenience. This model also assists in creating space in hospitals by handling avoidable hospital admissions as well as facilitating early discharge. Home-based care provides an opportunity for caregivers to identify the need for early intervention as well as manage outbreaks in their early stages (Reuter-Rice & Bolick, 2012).
On the other hand, hospital-based care is essential when the patient’s condition requires full-time attendance. Besides, some medical facilities and technology can only be accessed at hospitals. Hospitals also have enhanced patient safety measures, and quality is not a critical concern since the staff is well-trained (Reuter-Rice & Bolick, 2012).
Ultimately, these two models have great significance in nursing care for all stakeholders involved. The two settings rely on each other and also offer caregivers the opportunity to learn and assist patients to manage their conditions.
Hughes, R. (2010). Rights, risk and restraint-free care of older people: Person-centered approaches in health and social care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Reuter-Rice, K., & Bolick, B. N. (2012). Pediatric acute care: A guide for interprofessional practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2012). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.