Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are registered nurses with advanced education, specialty certification and state licensure. Advanced practice nurses have been shown to provide effective quality health care when treating patients with dyslipidemia, diabetes and hypertension. As these conditions become more prevalent, APNs are becoming more widely used and respected and are a cost-effective alternative to physician-based health care.
The Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation program developed into an APN-run clinic over a 5-year period. Initial changes included keeping continuity with an APN when scheduling follow-up visits, triaging patient telephone calls, and providing prescriptions. Documentation was changed to include the APN. Department policy was also changed to allow APNs to bill independently. Schedules reflected APNs as independent providers, and treatment-based algorithms were developed and revised jointly between APNs and physicians. Patient satisfaction scores were rated excellent or very good in most categories. Initial outcomes showed patient improvement in levels of lipids and ultra sensitive C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker). Advanced practice nurses are an effective and efficient way to help patients reduce their cardiovascular risk, with an emphasis on medical management, lifestyle habits and patient education.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment in Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation please call 800.223.2273, ext. 49353.
Gambino K, Planavsky L, Gaudette H. Transition Toward a Nurse Practitioner-Managed Clinic. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 2009;24:132-139.