Outsourcing Nursing Functions

A Letter in response to an article by The Los Angeles Times – 7/26/12

As a registered nurse (RN) for 36 years, I was outraged to read the front page article about outsourcing decision-making nursing functions. The role of a RN requires highly specialized education, specific skills competencies and assessment abilities honed over years of dealing with many patients. To assume that an individual in another country can replace the assessment skills of a educated, specialized registered nurse in this one is not only ludicrous, but extremely dangerous.

The article mixes in the issues of outsourcing US jobs with the idea of improving productivity for healthcare firms but doesn’t discuss the huge ramifications of this change. The RN role is that of choreographer for the patient care experience along the continuum of healthcare. That role is not replaceable nor can it be minimized.

It is not a coincidence that Radiant, Health Net and United Health Group declined to be quoted. No one with knowledge of the significant role of RNs’ in our healthcare system would consent to this approach.

Clearly, WellPoint, Radiant and other firms who have engaged to this perilous arrangement are not only risking the care outcomes they claim to care so much about, but sabotaging the improvement of care quality within their own companies. My guess is their shareholders have no idea of the risks involved, with licensing, confidentiality, RN competencies and clinical outcomes. Patients are not interchangeable widgets. The only question left to ask is “what the hell were they thinking?!”

Posted by MentorRN

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Thank you for visiting out new blog where we will be regularly posting articles and discussing ideas surrounding strategies for attaining and maintaining a professional healthcare education and career.