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Essential Nursing Care Management and Coordination Roles and Responsibilities

A Content Analysis

Luther, Brenda PhD, RN; Barra, Joyce PhD, RN; Martial, Marc-Aurel MPH, BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCM.0000000000000355
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Background: Care management roles and responsibilities are frequently called out in leading white papers and exemplars; yet, the actual roles and responsibilities are poorly defined.

Method: A qualitative content analysis using 6 landmark white papers and exemplars from national organizations to collect emerging care management and coordination roles and responsibilities.

Results: Three major themes emerged from the content analysis: (1) care management is about complex systems and complex medical and social needs, (2) nurses are central to the interdisciplinary team, and (3) informatics is vital to support and enhance care management.

Implications for Practice: Care managers need to be experienced with complex systems of care as well as complex diagnoses and conditions that our clients and their caregiver's experience. A nurse being central to the clients and embedded within the interdisciplinary team aids in diminishing the burden of negotiating the trajectory of a condition/illness as well as improves the interdisciplinary communication and teamwork. This review of literature has defined the complexity of care management and the discreet roles and responsibilities, as well as how informatics is vital for care managers to target and monitor key populations needing care management.

Brenda Luther, PhD, RN, is the director of the Masters and Certificate Care Management Specialty and an associate professor at the College of Nursing and within the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Utah. Dr. Luther teaches courses in care management, evidence-based practice, and health promotion. Dr. Luther has specialized in disability care and care management, working with children and their families at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Intermountain Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started her career in care coordination at Shriners working with public, private, and nonprofit agencies to bring about coordinated and connected services for children in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado. Her clinical interests are care management, successful transition to adulthood for children with disabilities, and health promotion for children with physical disabilities.

Joyce Barra, PhD, RN, is currently a faculty member in the graduate program at Weber State University where she teaches courses in educator socialization, assessment, and teaching strategies. She also manages the executive leadership students in their master's practicum. Dr. Barra's past experiences include directorships in ADN, BSN, and MSN programs. Her interests include specialized accreditation, both domestic and international, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Dr. Barra has a background in adult Med-Surg Nursing and a love of qualitative research, especially related to teaching and learning.

Marc-Aurel Martial, MPH, BSN, RN, is a clinical instructor at the College of Nursing, University of Utah. He specializes in public and global health and care transitions. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Utah with a focus on improving access to essential public health services and health outcomes for disadvantaged populations, primarily in rural Haiti. His dissertation research project will examine the impact of an anemia prevention and treatment program among preschool children in a rural mountainous community in Haiti.

Address correspondence to Brenda Luther, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, University of Utah, 10 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (brenda.luther@nurs.utah.edu).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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