Resource efficiency and effectiveness are critical to ensuring continuity in healthcare, both within and between settings. In the healthcare environment, resources refer to human, physical and financial assets that healthcare providers can use to provide quality patient care. They are vital in ensuring seamless transitions of care, decreasing readmissions and improving outcomes for patients.
The human resources are critical to the delivery of health services within the community. The continuity of patient care can be affected by the availability and competency of healthcare professionals. Nurse-led care model, including care coordination and Transitional Care Models, has shown to increase continuity of care while reducing hospital readmissions. Care coordination models that utilize advanced practice nurses (APNs) have been shown to reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2018).
Continuity of care is also dependent on physical resources, such as equipment and medical facilities. The effective use of these resources will improve the patient’s outcomes, and minimize the strain on the healthcare system. Telehealth has shown to reduce readmissions to hospitals, improve care access for those who are underserved, and even improve outcomes. Telehealth services have also been used to monitor patients with chronic conditions, reducing hospitalizations and emergency room visits (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2018).
In healthcare, financial resources are essential. Healthcare providers, insurers, and patients can all save money by using financial resources efficiently and effectively. The use of value-based care models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), has shown to improve continuity of care, reduce hospitalizations, and improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2018).
In order to maintain continuity, it is essential that technological resources like electronic health records are used. Healthcare providers can share information about patients across different healthcare settings. They reduce duplicate testing, improve medication reconciliation and improve patient outcomes. The effective use of EHRs and other health information technologies can improve communication and coordination of care, leading to better patient outcomes (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2018).
Conclusion: The efficient and effective utilization of healthcare resources is crucial for maintaining continuity of care in and between healthcare facilities in a community. Human, physical, financial and technological resources can have a positive impact on patient outcomes. They also reduce readmissions to hospital and increase access. To improve patient outcomes and quality of care, healthcare providers should optimize their use of resources.