Patient-Focused Care Delivery Model: Pros & Cons

My Choice of Models

Nursing care delivery models have been implemented in hospital facilities and clinics for more than a century. They depend on the economic factors, staff recruitment, personal beliefs, and other variables (Hughes, 2008). There are four traditional care delivery models: total patient care, functional nursing, team nursing, and patient-focused care. All these models have their advantages and disadvantages: they were designed and implemented in different periods of time and their aims were dictated by the context and the issues nurses had to face in those years.

My choice of nursing care delivery model would be patient-focused care because it is a relatively new model that combines the effectiveness of the previous models but also brings new opportunities for the nurse and improves patients’ outcomes and satisfaction. I have heard several statements from different members of medical staff that argued nursing care delivery models needed innovation. For me, the patient-focused model is exactly the innovation registered nurses needed.

The patient-focused care helps the nurse take control of the treatment, but at the same time, it combines the efforts and suggestions of different professionals that can significantly influence the treatment’s outcomes. Such approach helps the nurse and the patient define the goals and discuss them; moreover, patient’s family is also allowed to take part in the discussion. Such approach is believed to have a positive impact on the treatment because medication is not the only tool that is responsible for a successful outcome. Although some may believe that patients should not be allowed to judge or assess the health care they are provided with, I believe that such approach is something that the nurses have always needed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Model

One of the main advantages that I find important is the unit-based working process that allows professionals discuss the problem directly and form a better treatment plan. Moreover, this model does not confuse the patient who does not have to encounter different workers. When patients have to discuss their treatment with various professionals whose shifts change, it can lead to confusion and misunderstanding between the patient and the nurses. This model also allows registered nurses perform activities and functions of a higher level: thus, although the nurse’s responsibility increases, new challenges and opportunities are provided.

Although it might appear difficult to engage in treatment with ‘heart and mind’, such engagement has been proven effective both for the nurse and for the patient (Small & Small, 2011). The third advantage is that the team is supervised by the registered nurse. Therefore, the nurse has the opportunity to demonstrate her/his leadership skills or improve them if needed. Moreover, it is easier to control the treatment if you also supervise the team.

The disadvantages of this model include changes in organizational structure that not all hospitals are able to provide. Often the hospital administration does not encourage such changes because they do not seem necessary. Another disadvantage is that not all departments are happy to accept nursing leadership. Such discrepancies in opinions might even lead to conflicts, which are highly discouraged by the hospital staff and administration.

At last, the nurse’s workload increases. Thus, not everyone is able to become productive and successful leaders. Supervising coworkers and other professionals is not as easy as it might seem. Therefore, such nursing care delivery model is not suitable for everyone.


Hughes, R. (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Small, D., & Small, R. (2011). Patients first! Engaging the hearts and minds of nurses with a patient-centered practice model. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16(2), 20-26.

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