Continuity of Care

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Continuity of care is defined as the continuation of care of a patient over time by multiple health care providers (REF 1). Continuum of care is defined as care of a patient over time from preventive medicine to early intervention to acute care, through rehabilitation, from the hospital to the home, and involving community services and medical and social aspects of care (Ref 2). Continuity of care is multidimensional and has been used to describe many different relationships between health care providers and patients such as availability of information and constancy of physician, keeping follow-up appointments, and the transition of one setting to another, e.g. the hospital to home (Ref 2). The transition from one setting to another is usually referred to as the continuum of care. For the sake of this paper long term care will be reviewed. Traditionally long term care is identified as a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Long-term care helps meet health or personal needs. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or nursing homes (Ref 4). The role of long-term care is to provide the next progressive step in patient care once it has been determined that such a transition is required to provide the best possible healthcare solution for the patient.

In this component of the continuum of care the patient is most likely to be confined to a nursing home. The main design of this type of care is that they help the patient remain as independent as possible and provide assistance when you are not physically or mentally capable of being completely independent. This includes care that requires around the clock assistance by a nurse due to the patient’s incapacity to perform any independent care on their own (Ref 5). There are several hybrids of the nursing home environment that have been developed over the years to meet specific care needs. One such...
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