AAPA's Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management created the Employer of Excellence Awards to showcase PA employers that excel in creating PA-positive work environments and encourage collaborative provider teams. Apply today for the award – the first of its kind in healthcare.
As provider shortages impact patients across the U.S., PAs (physician assistants) continue to prove their immense value in healthcare. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal provider. They work in every state, in every medical setting, and across all specialties. Studies demonstrate that they provide high-quality care, enhance patient satisfaction, and can improve an organization’s bottom line.
And their ranks continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the PA profession will increase by 37 percent between 2016 and 2026. Hospitals and healthcare organizations have embraced PAs as critical members of patient care teams. But for these employers to more fully realize the benefit of this highly trained and skilled workforce, they must create and nurture positive work environments for them to thrive.
To showcase progressive PA employers, the American Academy of PAs’ (AAPA) Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management (CHLM) launched the Employer of Excellence Awards. The annual award program is designed to showcase employers that have implemented practices that create positive environments and encourage collaborative provider teams. Available to PA employers including hospitals, staffing companies, and healthcare organizations, it’s the first and only PA-specific award in healthcare.
CHLM partnered with HealthStream, a leading provider of workforce, patient experience, and provider solutions for the healthcare industry, to gain an understanding of what PAs value in their place of employment. Based on the findings, criteria for the Employer of Excellence Awards focuses on five key drivers:
- Facilitating a positive and supportive PA work environment.
- Creating processes for effective conflict management.
- Providing opportunities for PAs to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change.
- Informing PAs of organizational activity and decisions through communications.
- Involving PAs in leadership efforts to improve the quality of patient care.
The Employer of Excellence Awards will honor employers that are committed to empowering PAs, promoting mutual respect and effective communication and collaboration among providers, and facilitating professional development. Employers that are recognized will be showcased as top places to work for PAs, which will enhance recruitment of highly qualified PAs, increase retention rates, and showcase the awardees as models in the healthcare industry.
The 2018-2019 EOE winners include: The Cleveland Clinic; NYU Langone Health; Wake Forest Baptist Health; MidMichigan Health; Hospital for Special Surgery; Brigham Health – Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; and El Centro Family Health. These initial winners illustrated the unique ways they go above and beyond to empower their PAs and promote mutual respect and effective communication among their healthcare providers.
Here are just a few examples from these eight hospitals and healthcare systems which illustrate how their PAs can practice at the top of their education and experience:
- A program in which PAs independently staff clinics to increase patient access and quality of care;
- Comprehensive onboarding programs designed to increase retention rates and competency levels;
- Unique fellowship and research opportunities to allow PAs to practice at the top of their license;
- And, PA-led councils that provide guidance to the C-suite on how to improve patient care and support for PAs.
Any organization in the United States that employs a minimum of 10 PAs is eligible to apply for the award. The online application opens Nov. 1 and must be submitted by Feb. 8, 2019. The awards will be presented at AAPA’s Annual Conference in Denver on May 18, 2019.
Jennifer Broderick is the managing director at the American Academy of PAs’ Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management