The importance of relational coordination for integrated care delivery to older patients in the hospital

JM (Jacqueline) Hartgerink, Jane Murray Cramm, TJEM Bakker, RAM van Eijsden, Johan Mackenbach, AP Nieboer

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AimThis study investigated relational coordination among professionals providing healthcare to hospitalized older patients and assessed its impact on integrated care delivery. BackgroundPrevious studies have shown that relational coordination is positively associated with the delivery of acute, emergency and trauma care. The effect of relational coordination in integrated care delivery to hospitalized older patients remains unknown. MethodsThis cross-sectional study was part of an examination of integrated care delivery to hospitalized older patients. Data were collected using questionnaires distributed to hospital professionals (192 respondents; 44% response rate). ResultsAfter controlling for demographic variables, regression analyses showed that relational coordination was positively related to integrated care delivery (=0.20; P0.05). Relational coordination was lower among professionals in the same discipline, and higher between nurses and others than between medical specialists and others. Relational coordination and integrated care delivery were significantly higher in geriatrics than in other units (both P0.001). ConclusionsThe enhancement of relational coordination among healthcare professionals is positively associated with integrated care delivery to older patients. Implications for nursing managementRelational coordination should be improved between medical specialists and others and higher levels of relational coordination and integrated care delivery should be achieved in all hospital units.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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