The goal of the Pierce County Responsive Care Coordination Program (RCCP) is to reduce mortality, avoid admissions to nursing homes & hospitals, and improve the functional status and general wellbeing of the people they serve. Students begin this collaborative care project during their second semester as nursing students and continue this partnership until they graduate. This program has significantly reduced hospital readmissions for the last several years and is now a dynamic partnership led by our Area Agency on Aging; the two major healthcare systems in the county (Franciscan Health System and MultiCare Health System); PLU School of Nursing; and the Comprehensive Gerontologic Education Partnership. "Together We Care," a county coalition including many county providers, stakeholders and consumers, is concurrently working to achieve outstanding care coordination for chronically ill community members, providing broad and synergistic energy and support to RCCP and additional collaborative community solutions.
Working in concert with the partner organizations, PLU nursing students help:
1. Reinforce discharge plans
2. Set attainable health goals by serving as helth coaches
3. Identify available community resources
4. Encourage proactive self-care
5. Promote wellness through health prevention behavior
Patients experience tangible, positive benefits and outcomes. The program continues to receive significant attention since being honored (in its initial partnership with MultiCare Health System) with PLU’s Quigg Award for Excellence in Innovation (December 2009) and MHS’s President’s Award for Excellence in Community Partnerships (January 2010). The students gain clinical expertise in physical assessment of the older CHF client and feel they're making a difference in someone's life; the patients love the visits and support; and hospitals benefit from reduced costs. It's a win-win-win venture for health systems, students, and patients.