Optimizing the productivity and placement of NPs and PAs in outpatient primary care sites


Advocate Aurora Medical Group,


Objective: Organizational leaders must continually assess the productivity, turnover, and vacancies of physician assistants (PAs) and NPs. Optimizing the feasibility, effect, strategic placement, and monitoring increases patient access, improves wait times and affordability, and increases revenue. This quality improvement project sought to develop a systematic, data-driven approach to optimize productivity and placement of NPs and PAs in outpatient primary care sites.

Methods: Results from this project are reported using the Revised Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) framework. Postformation of a quality improvement team, a gap analysis, and action plans were developed and implemented.

Results: Priority areas requiring action included the development of an integrated position justification algorithm and tracking form addressing NP and PA placement, establishing consistent patient contact hours, setting workload expectations, and consistently communicating these via an organization-specific situation, background, assessment, and recommendation communication tool.

Conclusions: Healthcare leaders should leverage the talents of NPs and PAs meeting organizational benchmarks and goals as well as the needs of patients. NP and PA leaders should focus on benchmarking performance and analyzing barriers to optimization. These efforts are most beneficial when multidisciplinary in nature.

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