Rhonda Cady dreams of a day when children and youth with special health care needs have the supports they deserve to thrive in their communities, and clinicians recognize the value of these supports by returning to the fundamentals of patient- and family-centered care.
For Cady, communication and care coordination are key to realizing this dream. Cady is an adjunct faculty in the School of Nursing and a clinical scientist at Gillette Children’s Research. As a collaborator with the School of Nursing’s Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs for more than two decades, Cady regularly works with center faculty and students on research and systems change projects.
With degrees in both nursing and business, Cady has a passion for finding simple, workable solutions to helping clinicians and families communicate better. With expertise in health informatics and care coordination, Cady’s visionary approach had her testing telehealth nursing interventions before telehealth was commonplace. Her postdoctoral research included a time-motion study of telehealth nurse triage, and she has studied telehealth workflow utilizing the theory of distributed cognition.
Recent quality improvement projects with Doctor of Nursing Practice students have focused on improving inpatient to outpatient discharge, telehealth nursing triage encounters, and a complexity tool for adults with lifelong disabilities.
For Cady, care coordination and informatics are naturally intertwined. “You can’t do one without the other,” says Cady. “Effective, proactive care coordination depends on an intelligent electronic health record.”
Anyone who has worked with Cady has heard her mantra: the ultimate goal of both is to help children and families thrive in their communities.
For a list of Cady’s published work see https://z.umn.edu/rhondacadybibliography.
This article was published in the Minnesota Nursing Magazine about Dr. Cady's collaboration with the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN).