Physician assistant and nurse practitioner utilization in academic medical centers

Am J Med Qual. Nov-Dec 2011;26(6):452-60. doi: 10.1177/1062860611402984. Epub 2011 May 9.


The purpose of this study was to collect information on the utilization of physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in academic health centers. Data were gathered from a national sample of University HealthSystem Consortium member academic medical centers (AMCs). PAs and NPs have been integrated into most services of respondent AMCs, where they are positively rated for the value they bring to these organizations. The primary reason cited by most AMCs for employing PAs and NPs was Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty hour restrictions (26.9%). Secondary reasons for employing PAs and NPs include increasing patient throughput (88%), increasing patient access (77%), improving patient safety/quality (77%), reducing length of stay (73%), and improving continuity of care (73%). However, 69% of AMCs report they have not successfully documented the financial impact of PA/NP practice or outcomes associated with individual PA or NP care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Benchmarking
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Nurse Practitioners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician Assistants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care