Joyce Clifford, changed how nurses work with patients

Joyce C. Clifford established primary nursing at Beth Israel. Joyce C. Clifford established primary nursing at Beth Israel.
By Bryan Marquard
Globe Staff / October 28, 2011

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At Beth Israel Hospital in the mid-1970s, Joyce Clifford began establishing the practice of primary nursing, in which each patient is assigned a nurse who assumes full responsibility for care during the hospital stay and subsequent return visits. Under that model, physicians and nurses work as co-professionals. “She revolutionized modern nursing practice with the creation of her patient-centered care model,’’ said Eileen Sporing, chief of nursing at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Clifford, 76, of West Roxbury, died Oct. 21.

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