MSPs work diligently to ensure that every practitioner working in his or her healthcare facility has been properly vetted, credentialed, and oriented through the Medical Staff process. However, there are instances when the medical staff services department isn’t informed about a non-physician working until after they have provided care. This is a major risk to the organization, to the medical staff, and to the patient. Understanding how this happens and the solutions that can be applied is the purpose of this blog.
The first solution is to understand your practitioner groups (physicians, DOs DPM, etc.). MSPs have become masters in managing the credentials for these practitioners. This blog features how we can use the same level of expertise in managing the non-physician practitioner.
For the MSO, the non-physician groups we are focusing on include limited staff professionals, advanced practice professionals, and allied health professionals. The implementation of the non-physician into mainstream healthcare delivery, for the MSP, means a shift in the practice of medicine, a shift in the process of credentialing, and a shift in terminology. We now have expanded our vocabulary and refer to non-physician practitioners not just as Advanced Practice Professionals, but instead using the professional terms given by their national organizations: Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Psychologist, and Certified Nurse Midwife.
The scope of practice for the APP is outlined in the requirements of the State, the Medical Staff Governance Documents, and the Delineations of Privileges. It is up to the organization to establish the roles/responsibility of the APP, and although the requirements can be less, they cannot be more.
The second consideration is the status of the APP, whether they are contracted or employed by the organization, and how they fit into the overall organizational structure in regard to clinical responsibilities. Are they allowed to provide independent care (admit and manager), or are responsibilities supervised (suture & close)?
Integration of the non-physician is paramount to the success of the organization and the care of the patient. By integrating the APP responsibilities into the organizations governance documents, involving them in committee and department functions, allowing access to the MS Lounge to network with medical staff and the inclusion in social events goes a long way toward solidifying their role as a member of the team.
The MSP is a key element in the proper on-boarding and overall success of APPs. Our influence can change the perspective of the value APPs bring to the table in the coordination of quality care.