Revision of professional roles and quality improvement: A review of the evidence – The Health Foundation – February 2010

Posted on April 20, 2010. Filed under: Allied Health, Health Professions, Nursing, Workforce | Tags: |

Revision of professional roles and quality improvement: A review of the evidence – The Health Foundation – February 2010  [UK]
By Miranda Laurant, Mirjam Harmsen, Marjan Faber, Hub Wollersheim, Bonnie Sibbald and Richard Grol
Pages 122  ISBN 978-1-606461-15-7

Download summary [496kb PDF]

Download publication [1093kb PDF]

“About this report

Our report, Revision of professional roles and quality improvement: a review of the evidence, considers the impact of professional role revision on quality of care and outcomes. It focuses on two types of changes to professional roles:

Substitution – exchanging one type of professional for another.
Supplementation – extending the range of service provision within one health delivery system.

This report focuses on the revision of roles between doctors and:

advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners, specialist nurses, clinical nurses and practice nurses
physician assistants pharmacists
allied healthcare professionals such as physical therapists (referred to as physiotherapists in this review), speech and language therapists, dietitians and paramedics.

Professional role revision has a number of aims: to reduce the medical workload; to increase capacity and extend the range of services available to patients; to improve the quality of care; and/or to reduce costs.
Our report finds that there is no detrimental effect of revising or extending the roles of non-medical professionals, and in some cases there is a positive effect on the quality of patient care. Gains in service efficiency may be achieved if doctors stop providing the services that are transferred to other health professionals and instead invest their time in activities that they alone can perform. “


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