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Nurse practitioner led model of after-hours emergency care in an Australian rural urgent care Centre: health service stakeholder perceptions

journal contribution
posted on 25.08.2021, 01:43 by Elena WilsonElena Wilson, Lisa C Hanson, Kathleen E Tori, Byron PerrinByron Perrin
Abstract Background The challenges of providing and accessing quality health care in rural regions have long been identified. Innovative solutions are not only required but are also vital if effective, timely and equitable access to sustainable health care in rural communities is to be realised. Despite trial implementation of some alternative models of health care delivery, not all have been evaluated and their impacts are not well understood. The aim of this study was to explore the views of staff and stakeholders of a rural health service in relation to the implementation of an after-hours nurse practitioner model of health care delivery in its Urgent Care Centre. Methods This qualitative study included semi-structured individual and group interviews with professional stakeholders of a rural health service in Victoria, Australia and included hospital managers and hospital staff who worked directly or indirectly with the after-hours NPs in addition to local GPs, GP practice nurses, and paramedics. Thematic analysis was used to generate key themes from the data. Results Four themes emerged from the data analysis: transition to change; acceptance of the after-hours nurse practitioner role; workforce sustainability; and rural context. Conclusions This study suggests that the nurse practitioner-led model is valued by rural health practitioners and could reduce the burden of excessive after-hour on-call duties for rural GPs while improving access to quality health care for community members. As pressure on rural urgent care centres further intensifies with the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, serious consideration of the nurse practitioner-led model is recommended as a desirable and effective alternative.

History

Publication Date

01/12/2021

Journal

BMC Health Services Research

Volume

21

Issue

1

Article Number

819

Pagination

(p. 819)

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.