An Introduction to the ABC Model

Provo Canyon School, located in Springville and Provo, Utah, is a federal- and state-recognized provider of psychiatric residential treatment. With its two distinct campuses, Provo Canyon School can cater to the unique needs of different genders and age groups while implementing an acuity based care (ABC) model of individual assessment.

The ABC model was developed in response to the challenges administrators face when attempting to allocate human resources at a nursing or psychiatric wellness facility. In other words, ABC processes help nurse managers and chief nursing officers determine how to effectively distribute their staff. In the modern medical world, ABC services can greatly benefit from computer scheduling and specialized ABC software.

Acuity itself can be described as a measurement of a patient’s need for treatment as well as the intensity of the treatment required. With this in mind, a nursing shift can be developed using acuity rather than raw patient numbers. For example, a dozen patients in need of little medical attention on their day of discharge may require less care than a single patient suffering from complications in the intensive care unit (ICU). ABC methodologies and software would allow a shift supervisor or head nurse to allocate more nurses to the single patient while still maintaining an appropriate nursing presence among the patients requiring less care.

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