Theses Doctoral

Nurse Practitioner-Physician Co-Management of Primary Care Patient Panels: Impact, Perspective, and Measurement toward a New Delivery Care Model

Norful, Allison Andreno

The demands for high quality primary care have become strained by a deficit in the primary care physician supply and the complexity of delivering care to aging populations that are often living with complex co-morbidities. Provider co-management has emerged in practice to help alleviate some of the care delivery demands by having more than primary care provider (PCP) complete care management tasks for the same patient. There is extensive literature investigating two physicians co-managing patient care, and physician-physician assistant co-management, yet limited studies have investigated nurse practitioner (NP)-physician co-management. NPs currently are the fastest growing health care workforce in the United States. Several organizations support the expanded utilization of NPs in primary care. As more U.S. states are granting NPs independent scope of practice, which is free of physician oversight, the potential for NPs to co-manage patients with physicians, and alleviate some of the primary care strain, has increased. However, there are limited to no studies that have investigated NP-physician co-management in primary care. Further, there is a lack of evidence of PCP perspectives about co-managing care, its impact on patient and practice outcomes, or a tool to measure NP-physician co-management in practice or research. More evidence about NP-physician co-management is warranted and will be investigated in this dissertation.
The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate NP-physician co-management in primary care by synthesizing the existing evidence, gathering data from PCPs about NP-physician co-management and to develop a valid and reliable tool to measure it. In Chapter 1, background of the current demands on primary care is presented and accompanied by a discussion about the need to expand the NP workforce in primary care to help meet the demand. Evidence about the history of provider co-management is presented and gaps in the literature are identified. Specific aims of the dissertation are introduced and tied to existing theoretical underpinnings. In Chapter 2, aim one of the dissertation is addressed by qualitatively obtaining data on the PCP perspective of NP-physician co-management. In Chapter 3, aim two of the dissertation is addressed. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to determine the effects of NP-physician co-management compared to a single physician delivering care. In Chapter 4, aim three is addressed. Based on the collective findings of Aim 1 and Aim 2, a new tool is developed and psychometrically tested to measure NP-physician co-management. Content validity and reliability testing of the tool is conducted. In Chapter 5, the results of the dissertation are synthesized. Practice, policy, and research implications are discussed, and strengths and limitations of the dissertation are presented.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Poghosyan, Lusine
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 6, 2017