The American Nurses Association (ANA) exists to champion the nursing profession, and the essential role nurses play in improving health and health care for all.
Thanks to their frontline role, nurses offer a unique, expert perspective on every aspect of the health care system, and have a key voice in ongoing efforts to improve public health.As the lead organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses, ANA’s role is to articulate that voice at the highest levels in order to influence health policy.
Our efforts are directed at those responsible for creating the modern U.S. health care environment the policy makers and agencies whose decisions will affect patients and those who care for them. We are dedicated to ensuring that the voice of nursing is heard at all levels where these decisions are made.
Health System Reform
ANA believes every single person, including nurses, should have access to the highest quality and safest care. Health care is a basic human right. For decades, we have used the experience and expertise of our members to fight for that right, and for meaningful health care reform.
The passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as the ACA) – and recent high-profile attempts to change it – demonstrates how health care legislation is one of the most important issues facing our leaders today.
Agencies and regulations
While Congress makes the laws, much of the critical federal-level advocacy that ANA carries out is geared towards those whose role it is to interpret, and enforce, legislation that may affect our profession and its members – the numerous agencies of the federal government.
The day-to-day work of agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers of Disease Control (CDC), The Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have a huge impact on all who work in the health care system. It is vital that the voice of nursing is heard during their decision-making processes.
With the transformation of the health care system well underway, care coordination is now being highlighted by hospitals, health systems, and insurers as a key tool in improving patient health and satisfaction, and controlling health care costs.
ANA is leading the way through a number of initiatives to bring attention to nurses’ essential role in care coordination and to demand payment for these essential services as a distinct component of patient care.
Health Information Technology
Health Information Technology (HIT) has enabled the pursuit of better care coordination, allowing health care providers to quickly capture standardized data, use it to inform patient care, and communicate it to their colleagues across a range of clinical settings.
But with such potential comes a greater level of responsibility for nurses who, thanks to their place on the frontline, are key stakeholders in the implementation of any new practices and procedures. This is why ANA has taken a particular interest HIT and its implications for nurses – both in terms of opportunities and additional workload.
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