While keeping up with the recruitment of doctors is always key, it is nearly impossible with how large the gap is increasing. Hospitals are charged with the task to still provide appropriate care to patients with or without the number of physicians. Step in physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are Key
Nurse practitioners and Physician Assistants can provide care to your patients as often if not more than doctors. New York recently (as of 2014) provided legislation to broaden the scope of what Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants can do. The Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2015, eliminates the requirement that NPs have a written practice agreement with a doctor in order to practice independently. New York will be the eighteenth state, along with the District of Columbia, to implement such a measure.
Where Physicians and Assistants Meet on Care Level
There is a misconception that doctors can provide better bedside care than assistants. The fact is that assistants from time to time, tend to be with the patient more, therefore have more intimate knowledge of that patient’s needs. With that knowledge, assistants can also provide the doctor with better insight to help provide diagnoses. This can happen when a patient is reluctant to verbally tell someone what ails them, but by movement and some detective work, assistants can pick up on little signs.
While there is a shortage that is coming up, you can balance your staff and financials by providing both.