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What role do discharge coordinators play in NB? As a key component of the health care team, nurses in the role of discharge coordinator provide a link for care to safely and successfully transfer from hospital to community.

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Throughout the various hospitals in the province of New Brunswick discharge coordination is provided by registered nurses who identify, assess and plan for transition from acute care facilities to a variety of community settings.

Discharge planning is the process by which patients are provided with services that will allow continuity of care so healing or health maintenance can occur outside the acute care hospital. All patients have discharge planning needs, some more complex than others (New Brunswick Discharge Planning Nurses Group Standards).

Throughout the province discharge coordinators liaise with the extramural program, home care agencies, long-term care program, nursing homes, adult residential care facilities, and Veterans Affairs. Whether it is an aging senior who requires home aids or a surgical patient who requires acute care, the discharge coordinator in conjunction with the health care team develops a plan for discharge from the hospital setting.

With the help of a discharge coordinator, clients can establish expectations, identify resources and plan for their immediate and long term care. Discharge coordinators often organize family/team meetings where these needs and goals can be discussed and actualized.

Often clients are no longer able to decision-make independently and the discharge coordinator can provide the much needed communication between families, social workers and the health care team. Often the elderly find traversing the healthcare system to be confusing or overwhelming. Nurses working in discharge planning assist these clients to understand and move successfully along the continuum of care.

Over the past several years, acute care hospitals have been confronted by the increased number of alternate level of care clients, discharge coordinators have been challenged to facilitate a timely discharge to appropriate levels of care based on the client's holistic needs. As a key component of the health care team, nurses in the role of discharge coordinator provide a link for care to safely and successfully transfer from hospital to community.
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Title Annotation:New Brunswick
Author:Murray, Diane
Publication:Info Nursing
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 22, 2010
Words:316
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