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What is a care conference or care team meeting?

When a patient is hospitalized or in a nursing home/rehab facility, the clinical team typically gets together (in the hallway, a conference room, the patient's room) to review the patient's case.  Because of the shortened length of stay with most acute care hospitalizations, these meetings often happen daily and are usually brief. 

However, in a setting like long-term care, or even a sub-acute rehab, where a patient is usually there for at least one week, sometimes more, the care conference is a valuable component of their stay.  In these conferences, the team--comprised of nursing, dietary, social work, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, et al---reviews the progress of each patient and makes adjustments as needed to the plan of care.  They will also address insurance approval issues, if applicable.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or acute care hospital for an extended period of time, I encourage you to request a care conference where you will attend.  Get all the players in the same room so you can address any care issues or questions that you may have.  Don't expect, however, to see the physician in the meeting because most physicians are not on-site daily. 

Communication in any healthcare situation is critical so please take advantage of the care conference when you can!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.