Navigating New Care Teams with Nurse Practitioners

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Submitted by National Center... on Apr 22, 2014 - 3:39pm CDT

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  • Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Advisor for Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Daryl Lynch, MD, Vice Chair Ambulatory Medicine, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City); Director, Division of Adolescent Medicine
  • Cathy Rick, RN, PhD, FAAN, FACHE, Chief Officer, Office of Nursing Services, US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • Patricia Gerrity, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director, Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University; Associate Dean for Community Programs, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions

As we roll into 2013, the health care improvement community has a lot on its plate. Just for starters: reducing avoidable hospital readmissions, building community coalitions to improve population health, building active partnerships with patients and families, achieving meaningful use of electronic health records, and redesigning primary care. Each entails massive changes in thinking and strategy in order to achieve the larger aim of moving health care from a volume-based to a value-based system, focused on helping everyone lead healthier lives.

So what does the health care workforce have to do with meeting these challenges? Plenty. Caregivers must increasingly see themselves as change agents, and leaders must tap the strengths and talents of all their clinical staff in new and innovative ways.

WIHI host Madge Kaplan is pleased to kick off the new year with a discussion of how nurse practitioners or advanced practice nurses are being deployed and woven into new, interdisciplinary, team-based delivery designs. Our guides are four individuals who are engaged in both pioneering and common-sense solutions to patient needs in ways that match the right caregivers with the right patients and the right needs.

At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Susan Hassmiller has a bird’s eye view of where and how nurses across the US are contributing at the top of their education and training; Cathy Rick, at the VA, is overseeing the implementation of a new national strategic plan to better align nursing services with new systems of care for some six million veterans who use the VHA; Patricia Gerrity directs a nurse-managed community health center in North Philadelphia; and, in addressing the health needs of teenagers, physician Daryl Lynch has created deep and effective collaborations with nurse practitioners.

There are challenges to getting the care team right, and disagreements over roles and functions. But as you’ll learn from this WIHI, there’s also a new spirit of forging ahead given the growing emphasis on primary care in a rapidly reforming health care system.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement