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APRNs Improve Quality Outcomes, Cost of Care

By Jennifer Thew RN  
   June 01, 2017

"We’re in the process of having a switchover from our data warehouse, so we’ve had a hard time pulling the individual (APRN and PA) data because of the way our system is set up. Our information technology system is evolving to help us pull a lot of those data," says Lacey Troutman Buckler, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, APRN, NE-BC, assistant chief nurse executive, advanced practice and strategic outreach, and director of cardiovascular nursing services and the office for advanced practice at UK HealthCare.

Another challenge is ensuring standardization of practice, duty, and roles among all APPs across an organization. 

In 2008, when UK HealthCare made a move to grow its advanced practice offerings, there were about 80–90 APPs throughout the organization. Buckler embarked on an assessment to better know how and where these practitioners were functioning in the system.

"We were trying to get ourselves prepared because we knew advanced practice would expand in both inpatient and outpatient,” Buckler says. "We wanted to make sure that we had our arms around what advanced practice looked like here, and if we were going to increase that model in the future, how we would do that."

One thing that became apparent was the need for consistency and standardization of practice.  

"We had a lot of opportunities to standardize our approach to advanced practice here," Buckler says. "We realized at that point we had lots of great work going on, but we wanted to make sure that there was some way to connect these providers to a professional home that understood what their role was and understood how we could support them in practice."

Hence, the creation of UK HealthCare’s office for advanced practice. The office standardized job descriptions, restructured compensation, and continues to act as a resource for scope-of-practice standards for the organization’s more than 400 APPs. 

Vicky Turner, RN, DNP, ACNP-BC, APRN, CCRN, is the former codirector of the office for advanced practice, where she was able help others, including physicians, understand APRNs’ scope of practice.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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