Author Archives: Jennifer Bellot

Tootsie’s Story, Continued: A Family Wonders Whether Nurse-Led Care Coordination Might Have Prolonged a Life

Feb 7, 2013, 9:00 AM, Posted by Jennifer Bellot

In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) joined resources and released The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This landmark report included many recommendations, and a full-scale Campaign for Action is in place that will transform nursing for years to come. Among the many themes advocated in this report is the tenet that nurses should be the very core of reinventing the American health care system. The report encourages the health care system to lean, and lean heavily, upon the skill set and resources of nurses to facilitate access to higher quality care at a lower cost.

At present, we have a health care system that is technology and intervention heavy when we know our population demographics are rapidly changing and technological intervention is not always the right answer. We have a growing need for a system that instead focuses on addressing chronic disease management, prevention and wellness care. Nurses are well positioned to support a system with these foci, managing care of the older adult in the community before inpatient care becomes necessary. Specifically in the outpatient setting, nurse coordinated care that is, by definition, proactive, holistic and comprehensive will help shift the focus of care from acute and episodic to chronic and preventive.

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Tootsie’s Story: Medical Error Takes a Life

Feb 6, 2013, 12:00 PM, Posted by Jennifer Bellot

Jennifer Bellot, PhD, RN, MHSA, is an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. This is Part One of a two-part blog about the death of her beloved grandmother.

Just over a year ago, our family lost our beloved matriarch and my grandmother, “Tootsie,” to complications from a medical error.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year now and each day, we feel her loss—or presence—in different ways.  I write about this remarkable woman in this month’s issue of Professional Case Management.

Tootsie was an amazing example of strength, generosity, and perhaps most characteristically, of someone who spent her life caring for others.  She bore eight children in nine years, raised them almost single-handedly after her husband died prematurely, and managed a 160-acre farm—all without a high school degree. Tootsie and I had an especially close relationship, blossoming one summer when I lived with her as a preschooler while my mother pursued her graduate degree.

As I grew older, I would become involved in Tootsie’s medical management. She would regularly send me copies of her lab reports and medical records. Medical talk became our currency of love. We chatted about her latest cardiology consultation like others might chat about celebrity gossip. Following and safeguarding her health was how we shared our love best.

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