Co-management of patients by more than one primary care clinician is among new models of care designed to meet the demand for high quality patient care. A new co-management model lays the groundwork for potential care partnerships between nurse practitioners and physicians. It finds that effective nurse practitioner-physician co-management requires three core attributes: effective communication, mutual respect and trust, and a shared philosophy of care. These attributes must be supported by a practice environment and policies that recognize nurse practitioners as autonomous primary care clinicians, as well as the willingness of nurse practitioners and physicians to co-manage patients. The authors find that effective nurse practitioner-physician co-management can reduce the primary care clinician's workload, including both clinical care and administrative tasks, thus reducing burnout and fatigue. They suggest that combining the experience and expertise of clinicians from nursing and medicine can result in better care.
Nurse Practitioner-Physician Co-Management: A Theoretical Model to Alleviate Primary Care Strain
Allison A. Norful PhD, RN, ANP-BC
Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York