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What You Missed at this Year’s APPex 2017 Summit

Posted on October 23, 2017   |   by   |   Conferences, Employers, Job Seekers

We joined over 160 hospital administrators, executives, and Advanced Practice Providers at the APPex 2017 Summit. Here’s what we talked about.

The APPex organizers and hospitality staff in Houston should be commended for hosting a fantastic event so soon after a natural disaster. Our hearts go out to those who are still suffering from the storm’s impact. If you entered our conference giveaway, a donation will be made in your honor to the Texas Diaper Bank and Texas Children’s Hospital to help meet medical needs throughout the area.

The conference brought together a diverse group of people with a singular purpose: To elevate Advanced Practice services in healthcare settings nationwide.

Melnic 2017 APPex Summit Session Highlights

On Friday, September 15, Melnic sponsored a lunch presentation titled Advanced Practice Provider Utilization – If You Do One Thing.” We discussed the common scenarios Advanced Practice leaders face and offered strategies to retain Advanced Practice staff, improve outcomes, and build teams.

I’ll jump to the takeaway: If you do only one thing to improve your Advanced Practice Program it should be to clarify the AP roles within your organization.

How do you do this? In partnership with leadership at all levels, identify where nurse practitioners and physicians are practicing to the full extent of their scope and training. Assess what they are doing and what value they are bringing to their units. Then communicate the value of APP roles to physicians, nurses, C-suite executives, administrators, and patients.

Of course, that’s not the only topic related to Advanced Practice Provider utilization. We had a lively discussion that included the following highlights:

Advanced Practice Programs succeed when Advanced Practice Leaders succeed.

For this to occur, organizations must empower their AP Leaders with the authority to oversee program development, provide an adequate budget and support, and give the AP Leader an effective reporting structure with support staff and executive involvement.

Organizations often miscalculate the value of NPs and PAs.

Hospitals evaluate how effectively NPs and PAs are utilized in terms of direct revenue, but it may be time to change the equation. I shared an example during my presentation of a staff of 80 nurse practitioners, some of whom were revenue producing in terms of relative value units (RVUs), and some of whom were not. Let’s say this group of NPs generates $10 million annually in direct revenue, but costs $11 million in salaries and benefits. That organization could say one of two things: That the group is functioning at 90% efficiency, or that the organization is losing a million dollars a year.

However, those conclusions are likely inaccurate because many hospitals are overlooking the downstream revenue produced by NPs and PAs within the organization. NPs have been shown to reduce length of stay, reduce readmission rates, increase patient satisfaction, and increase nursing staff retention within each unit. I believe we can change the efficiency models to account for downstream revenue from the Advanced Practice role if we take the time to do so.

Advanced Practice leaders need effective leadership.

Advanced Practice Providers thrive with effective leadership structures. They want to be involved in defining their own roles within the organization. They need clarity in knowing who they report to and who is responsible for their role. They also need regular feedback on how to grow, what they can do differently, and recognition for the value of their contributions to the organization, to staff, and to patients.

Many Advanced Practice Leaders are an “office of one.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of our lunch presentation was the opportunity to talk with so many Advanced Practice Leaders. Many report feeling like a lone ranger trying to move Advanced Practice programs forward without the support they need.

As a group, we talked about ways to engage the stakeholders Advanced Practice Leaders need to reach a particular goal, or metric, or milestone. We explored ways to organize flexible teams with the key players needed to move an initiative forward as quickly as possible. We also touched on ways to involve not only the leaders in the organization, but also engage NPs and PAs in multidisciplinary teams.

There are more takeaways from the conference and lunch session than I can list here. I came back to my office energized by the dynamic people I met who are investing in themselves, their organizations, and their teams to advance the profession.

Want more information from the APPex Summit and Advanced Practice resources? Let’s connect

We’re happy to help with resources on different models and structures for advanced practice, job descriptions, ways to start a program, and how programs grow.

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