The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City expanded the role of a nurse manager to a manager and leader of the interdisciplinary team within a structure reorganized to focus on patients. As the literature noted the critical nature of the role of a middle manager, an interdisciplinary team reached the consensus that a registered nurse with progressive clinical and head nurse experience should be the first-line manager in a patient-centered care organization. The process of reengineering the role of a Patient Care Team Coordinator (PCTC), the support systems designed to develop the new leadership role, and the benefits associated with the changes implemented are discussed. The functional statement for the PCTC's position is included, as well as an organizational structure to show how staff are grouped to promote the continuity and coordination of care provided to patients.
Associate Medical Center Director for Patient Services; Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (DVAMC); New York, New York
The author thanks the current staff of DVAMC: Karel Raneri-Vitale, MSN, RN, for her contributions as Chairperson of the Planning Group for Team Formation; Melanie Wagner, MHA, Staff Assistant to the Associate Medical Center Director for Patient Services and the Integration Office, for careful review and editing of the manuscript; Marion Conti-O'Hare, PhD, RN, Facilitator for Improvement of Organizational Performance (IOP) and Research, for coordination of evaluation surveys; Deborah Hirsch-Temple, MSN, RN, resource manager and Steven Bailyn, MSW, Chief of Community and Social Work Program, for their contributions in the development of the Professional Board of Peers; and for all the PCTCs, for their willingness to serve in a newly created position of interdisciplinary team leader/manager, and their contributions in improving the quality and efficiency of care in each of their units.