Hospital readmission rates for pediatric nurse practitioners are similar to those for other clinicians, according to a study by British researchers.
Pediatric emergency nurse practitioners make a valuable contribution to the quality of care delivered in pediatric emergency departments because of their experience and expertise in their field, pediatric emergency nurse practitioner Jane E. Feetham, RN, from the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children told Reuters Health. However, they do a slightly different role and complement the medical team rather than aim to replace it.
Feetham is the lead author of the study, published by Emergency Medicine Journal in June. She and other researchers compared readmission rates for pediatric nurse practitioners in an inner-city pediatric ED with those of physicians. They looked at 1,150 initial admissions, according to Reuters.
Patient readmission rates for pediatric NPs were actually somewhat lower than for those seen by junior and senior trainees (the U.S. equivalent of residents) and slightly higher than for patients seen by consultants (the U.S. equivalent of attending physicians). But pediatric NPs generally saw a less complex mix of patients than did their medical counterparts. The NPs patients were mostly older children with minor trauma and their cases seldom required discussion with a doctor, according to the report. When the complexity of cases was taken into consideration, researchers concluded there were no significant differences in admission rates for patients seen by NPs and those seen by physicians, the report stated.
Pediatric emergency nurse practitioners work autonomously when seeing children presenting with minor trauma and make a positive contribution in achieving the (required readmission rates), the researchers concluded.
The findings supported what we already suspected; it just had not been measured in our department before, Feetham told Reuters.