A Commitment to Advanced Practice Providers

OSF Innovation launched Care Transformation in 2015 to redesign the primary care clinic model and expand access to care. As part of the effort, OSF HealthCare hired more Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) to take on their own patients. This would also give physicians the opportunity to focus on more complex cases.

As a result, OSF HealthCare needed a standard way to on-board new APPs to ensure a successful transition. For years, the health care system did not have a consistent orientation program for these providers. Employee turnover in this group was at 14 percent.

This and national recommendations prompted Advanced Practice leadership to develop an orientation program. The approach gives new hires the resources they need to be successful providers. The on-boarding process is for any new APP, regardless of experience.

APP Orientation

APP leadership collaborated with Jump Simulation to develop a three-day orientation program. It begins with two full days of in-seat and simulation-based education. The third day takes place a month later after learners have had the chance to use their skills.

The in-seat clinical work helps APPs brush up on knowledge and skills they learned in school. This includes viewing chest x-rays and EKG interpretation. There is also discussion about professionalism and the goals of OSF HealthCare.

The simulations allow APPs to practice breaking bad news to patients and their families. They get to run code blue situations. They also gain experience in how to best communicate with co-workers. In one scenario, an APP doesn’t agree with the decision a collaborating physician has made. They have to use strategic communication skills to discuss the matter further.

“Having good, open relationships where you can have crucial conversations with co-workers improves the relationship among the team,” said Lisa Pierce, Director of Advanced Practice Providers, OSF HealthCare. “Otherwise, issues fester, people get upset and then they leave and move on. We are giving them the skills to have better collaborative relationships with each other.”

Experienced APPs help deliver content during the orientation and act as mentors. The process gives new Advanced Practice Providers the opportunity to meet each another. They can also act as support in the future. Participants receive 24 hours of continuing education credit.

Orientation Benefits

APP orientation participants received 80 percent or more on knowledge assessments following orientation. Learners reported a positive impact on their clinical skills six months after training. Employee turnover also dropped from 14 percent to over 2 percent.

It’s our belief the program is a great tool for retaining the best and brightest to OSF HealthCare. It shows our commitment to better integrating APPs into the system. It also demonstrates that we have a process for them to become successful in their roles.
Categories: Care Transformation, Clinical Simulation, Collaboration, Communication, Continuing Education (CE), Education, Education, Innovation