Allied Health Professionals

Part of the health care workforce with clinical training in fields other than medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or dentistry.

New OECD Report Highlights Expanded Primary Care Role for Nurses

Jan. 9, 2018

To meet population health care needs in developed countries, health systems must shift their focus from treating acute episodes to managing chronic conditions. With the rise of chronic care comes a new set of tasks that are more time-consuming and team-oriented. Policymakers in many countries are seeking to align the size and composition of their primary care workforce to meet these new needs, by expanding the role of advanced nurses.

Physicians and Advanced Practitioners Specializing in Nursing Home Care, 2012-2015

Research Brief
Nov. 29, 2017

The number of clinicians specializing in nursing home care increased by 33.7% from 2012 to 2015, although nursing home specialists made up only 21% of nursing home clinicians in 2015. Most of these specialists were advanced practitioners (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) delivering post-acute care. The change in number of nursing home specialists varied significantly by geographic region.

Networks in ACA Marketplaces are Narrower for Mental Health Care Than for Primary Care

Research Brief
Sep. 5, 2017

In 2016, ACA marketplace plans offered provider networks that were far narrower for mental health care than for primary care. On average, plan networks included 24 percent of all primary care providers and 11 percent of all mental health care providers in a given market. Just 43 percent of psychiatrists and 19 percent of nonphysician mental health providers participate in any network. These findings raise important questions about network sufficiency, consumer choice, and access to mental health care in marketplace plans.

Nursing skill mix in European hospitals: cross-sectional study of the association with mortality, patient ratings, and quality of care

Jul. 10, 2017

Linda H. Aiken, Douglas Sloane, Peter Griffiths, Anne Marie Rafferty, Luk Bruyneel, Matthew McHugh, Claudia B. Maier, Teresa Moreno-Casbas, Jane E. Ball, Dietmar Ausserhofer, Walter Sermeus

In BMJ Quality & Safety, Linda Aiken and colleagues, including Matthew McHugh examine the association of hospital nursing skill mix with patient mortality, patient ratings of care, and indicators of quality care among European hospitals. As policymakers around the world seek to reduce health spending, a popular target in Europe has been to transition from more professional nurses to fewer high-cost nurses supported by more lower-wage assistants. The authors analyzed how nursing skill mix affects indicators of quality patient care. The authors utilized cross-sectional patient...

Training social work students to recognize later-life depression: Is standardized patient simulation effective?

Jul. 5, 2017

Zvi D. Gellis and Eunhae Grace Kim

In Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, Zvi Gellis and Eunhae Grace Kim assess the affect of an educational intervention on social work students' understanding of later-life depression. The authors note that, although social workers are the largest provider of mental health services in the nation, they receive little coursework or clinical training in late-life depression unless they are in a gerontology specialization. The authors developed and completed a Standardized Patient Simulation course with 104 students, and assessed whether the simulation improved student knowledge...

An Assessment of Global Oral Health Education in U.S Dental Schools

Jul. 5, 2017

Janet Sung and Joan I. Gluch

In Journal of Dental Education, Janet Sung and Joan Gluch assess how global health education is currently incorporated into pre-doctoral dental training in the U.S.  In 2015-2016, the authors surveyed 64 accredited U.S dental schools regarding their global health education and competencies, and received responses from 52 of those schools. Most dental school curricula covered social determinants of oral diseases and conditions, how to identify barriers to use of oral health services, and how to work with patients who have limited dental health literacy. But other key areas of...

Economic Feasibility of Staffing the Intensive Care Unit with a Communication Facilitator

Jun. 27, 2017

Nita Khandelwal, David Benkeser, Norma B. Coe, Ruth A. Engelberg, and J. Randall Curtis

In Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Nita Khandelwal and colleagues, including Norma Coe, assess the economic feasibility of staffing intensive care units (ICUs) with a communication facilitator. This person assists families in complex decision-making, improves patient-provider communication, and ensures that care is consistent with patient values and goals. The authors conducted a randomized trial with an ICU communication facilitator, and also looked at financial hospital records. Units that had a facilitator saw significantly reduced daily average ICU costs, and maximal...

Penn Center for Community Health Workers: Step-by-Step Approach to Sustain an Evidence-Based Community Health Worker Intervention at an Academic Medical Center

Sep. 19, 2016

Anna U. Morgan, David T. Grande, Tamala Carter, Judith A. Long, Shreya Kangovi

In the American Journal of Public Health, Anna Morgan and colleagues, including Dave Grande, Judith Long, and Shreya Kangovi, describe the process by which Penn’s Center for Community Health Workers grew from a small grant-funded research project into a robust program serving 2,000 patients annually and funded through the health system’s operational budget. The authors describe an 8-step framework to engage both low-income patients and funders, determine outcomes, and calculate return on investment. The case illustrates a path toward sustainability for other community-based...

Clinical Decision Support Tool for Parental Tobacco Treatment in Primary Care

Apr. 22, 2016

Brian Jenssen, Tyra Byrant-Stephens, Frank Leone, Robert Grundmeier, Alexander Fiks

In Pediatrics, Brian Jenssen and colleagues, including Frank Leone and Alexander Fiks, evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention to help primary care pediatricians provide smoking cessation treatment to parents/caregivers who smoke. The authors created a clinical decision support tool, embedded it in the electronic health record, and evaluated its use and clinical impact. Participating clinicians, at an urban primary care center, received training in smoking cessation counseling, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescribing, referring to an adult treatment program and use of...

Built Environment Assessment: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

Apr. 19, 2016

Karen Glanz, Susan Handy, Kathryn Henderson, Sandy Slater, Erica Davis, Lisa Powell

In SSM Population Health, Karen Glanz and colleagues examine how different disciplinary perspectives can contribute to environmental context-based assessment related to obesity.  The authors also make recommendations for encouraging effective advances in built-environment assessment. A multidisciplinary team of experts convened in 2013 to discuss how their respective disciplines can collaborate to integrate environmental assessment to prevent obesity. There has been significant progress in collaboration across key disciplines that contribute to studies of built environments and...

Change In Length of Stay and Readmissions Among Hospitalized Medical Patients after Inpatient Medicine Service Adoption of Mobile Secure Text Messaging

Apr. 13, 2016

Mitesh Patel, Neha Patel, Dylan Small, Roy Rosin, Jeffrey Rohbach, Nathaniel Stromberg, C. William Hanson, David Asch

In the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Mitesh Patel and colleagues, including Dylan Small, Roy Rosin, and David Asch, evaluate the association between an inpatient medicine service’s adoption of mobile secure text messaging and patient length of stay and readmissions. The authors observed the change in length of stay and 30-day readmissions between a control site and one that implemented text messaging. They find a significant decrease in length of stay for the intervention site during and after the rollout of inpatient text communication. There was no significant difference...

Educating Health Professionals on Social Determinants of Health

Apr. 6, 2016

Health professionals are ill-prepared to address social factors that contribute to poor health, because these factors often lie beyond the scope of medical education. But just as addressing social determinants of health (SDH) involves stretching beyond traditional medical practices, educating health professionals involves stretching beyond traditional medical education.

The Perfect Storm: Collision of the Business of Mental Health and the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices

Mar. 29, 2016

Rebecca Steward, Danielle Adams, David Mandell, Trevor Hadley, Arthur Evans, Ronnie Rubin, Joan Erney, Geoffrey Neimark, Matthew Hurford, Rinad Beidas

In Psychiatric Services, Rebecca Stewart and colleagues, including David Mandell, Trevor Hadley and Rinad Beidas examine how financial factors affect the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in a large urban publicly funded mental health system. They interviewed 33 agency leaders and 16 policymakers, who described financial distress in community mental health agencies, and reported concerns about complex and expensive implementation of EBPs. These stakeholders agree that the cost of implementing EBPs should be shared between the agencies and the health system; however...

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