Mary Guerriero Austrom. Aging & Mental Health. Published online: 15 Dec 2015
Objectives: Describe the development of a competent workforce committed to providing patient-centered care to persons with dementia and/or depression and their caregivers; to report on qualitative analyses of our workforce’s case reports about their experiences; and to present lessons learned about developing and implementing a collaborative care community-based model using our new workforce that we call care coordinator assistants (CCAs).
Method: Sixteen CCAs were recruited and trained in person-centered care, use of mobile office, electronic medical record system, community resources, and team member support. CCAs wrote case reports quarterly that were analyzed for patient-centered care themes.
Results: Qualitative analysis of 73 cases using NVivo software identified six patient-centered care themes: (1) patient familiarity/understanding; (2) patient interest/engagement encouraged; (3) flexibility and continuity of care; (4) caregiver support/engagement; (5) effective utilization/integration of training; and (6) teamwork. Most frequently reported themes were patient familiarity – 91.8% of case reports included reference to patient familiarity, 67.1% included references to teamwork and 61.6% of case reports included the theme flexibility/continuity of care. CCAs made a mean number of 15.7 (SD = 15.6) visits, with most visits for coordination of care services, followed by home visits and phone visits to over 1200 patients in 12 months.
Discussion: Person-centered care can be effectively implemented by well-trained CCAs in the community.