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Keywords:

  • appointment access;
  • paediatric cardiology;
  • paediatric nurse practitioner;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • waiting times

evangelista j.-a.k., connor j.a., pintz c., saia t., o’connell c., fulton d.r. & hickey p. (2012) Paediatric nurse practitioner managed cardiology clinics: patient satisfaction and appointment access. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(10), 2165–2174.

Abstract

Aim.  This article summarizes a comparative study of patient/family satisfaction and appointment wait times in physician managed vs. paediatric nurse practitioner managed cardiology clinics.

Background.  Appointment wait times exceeded 40 days in the outpatient cardiology department at a children’s hospital. To address the gap in available appointments, paediatric nurse practitioner managed cardiology clinics were implemented.

Methods.  A sample of 128 patients who presented concurrently in physician or paediatric nurse practitioner managed cardiology clinics from December 2009 through February 2010 was recruited for participation. The hospital’s ambulatory patient satisfaction survey was utilized to measure level of patient satisfaction with care. Survey responses were evaluated using Fisher’s exact test. Appointment wait times were compared pre and post implementation of paediatric nurse practitioner managed clinics.

Results.  Sixty-five physician families and 63 paediatric nurse practitioner families completed the satisfaction survey. There was no statistically significant difference in patient satisfaction between clinic types. Appointment wait time decreased from 46 to 43 days, which was not statistically significant. Paediatric nurse practitioner clinics included a statistically higher percentage total of urgent appointments compared to that in physician clinics.

Conclusions.  Paediatric nurse practitioner managed cardiology clinics are a strategic solution for improving patient access and facilitating high quality patient care while earning high levels of patient satisfaction. This healthcare delivery model illustrates the potential for expanded utilization of advanced practice nurses.