The proof is in the numbers..
Take a look at some recent publications related to athletic trainers as physician extenders and impact they are having on orthopedic practices!
Physician Satisfaction with Residency-Trained Athletic Trainers as Physician Extenders
PDF: 2014 Athletic Therapy Today
The Financial Impact of an Athletic Trainer Working as a Physician Extender in Orthopedic Practice
PDF: 2014 Journal of Medical Practice Management
Our team at OrthoVise knows that as orthopedic and sports medicine practices evolve and react to the challenges they face driven by national health care policy change and diminishing reimbursement, they are forced to consistently evaluate their processes and find ways to deliver care more efficiently and effectively. If done well, this evolution occurs while adding clinical value to the patient while simultaneously adding financial value to the practice.
Athletic trainers are musculoskeletal specialists that have been recognized as allied health providers by the American Medical Association since 1990. All athletic trainers must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate program or master’s degree program. Although not a requirement to practice, nearly 70% of athletic trainers possess a master’s degree. Athletic Trainers are credentialed through the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC), which administers a national certification test. Accordingly, the BOC provides a certification program for the entry-level Athletic Trainer that confers the ATC® credential and establishes requirements for maintaining status as a Certified Athletic Trainer. This includes the monitoring of continuing education activities.
The athletic trainer functioning in the role of a physician extender is currently the fastest growing area of employment in the athletic training profession. This has been driven by orthopedic practices seeking the services of athletic trainers and athletic trainers increasingly pursuing this type of work because it fits their skillset exceedingly well. It is also important to note that athletic training preparation is improving and evolving to meet the needs of the modern orthopedic practice. Specifically, 12 month residency training programs are growing in quality and in quantity in order to meet the current and future needs of orthopedic and sports medicine practices.
The versatility of the athletic trainer can make them a very productive and efficient addition to your healthcare team. There are many opportunities to utilize athletic trainers in a hospital or private practice clinic setting. The athletic trainer can enhance long-term relationships in your community while also helping you streamline your clinical workflows, improve care coordination and enhance physician happiness.
At OrthoVise, we know how beneficial the role of the fully enabled athletic trainer can be for practices looking critically at new options for efficiency and cost savings. The following tasks and roles are just an example of what specific services the athletic trainer can provide in a physician extender capacity. Of course, the specifics of what the athletic trainer may or may not be able to do in your system from a clinical and EMR standpoint will require discussion and approval by your compliance team.Entry of Rooming Data in Electronic Medical Record Chief Complaint Vital Sign Collection and Documentation Medication Reconciliation Allergy Reconciliation Patient Learning Performance of Patient History Performance of Patient Physical Examination Complete and/or Pend Orders for Diagnostics, Referrals, Consults Case Presentation to Physician Completion of Surgical Forms Patient Education DME and Soft Good Fitting Pre-operative Instruction Post-operative Care Patient Triage and Placement Procedure Preparation Injection Preparation Compartment Testing Assistance Neuropsychologic Testing Delivery Procedure or Operating Room Assist
Our advisors at OrthoVise recognize that it is essential to always keep in mind what is best for the patient and the practice. It is also critical to utilize all the available abilities of the providers to add value. If this is done well, mid-level providers, athletic trainers, nurses, and any other allied health providers utilized in an orthopedic setting will be happier, as they can use all their abilities while creating greater financial and clinical value to the organization.