Practice Management

Creating best practices for APPs

A holistic approach to integration


Hospital medicine groups (HMGs) nationally are confronted with a host of challenging issues: increased patient volume/complexities, resident duty-hour restrictions, and a rise in provider burnout. Many are turning to advanced practice providers (APPs) to help lighten these burdens.

But no practical guidelines exist around how to successfully incorporate APPs in a way that meets the needs of the patients, the providers, the HMG, and the health system, according to Kasey Bowden, MSN, FNP, AG-ACNP, lead author of a HM19 abstract on that subject.

“Much of the recent literature around APP utilization involves descriptive anecdotes on how individual HMGs have utilized APPs, and what metrics this helped them to achieve,” she said. “While these stories are often compelling, they provide no tangible value to HMGs looking to incorporate APPs into practice, as they do not address unique elements that limit successful APP integration, including diverse educational backgrounds of APPs and exceedingly high turnover rates (12.6% nationally).”

Ms. Bowden and coauthors created a conceptual framework, which recognizes that, without taking a holistic approach, many HMGs will fail to successfully integrate APPs. “Our hope is that by utilizing this framework to define APP-physician best practices, we will be able to create a useful tool for all HMGs that will promote successful APP-physician collaborative practice models.”

She thinks that hospitalists could also use this framework to examine their current practice models and to see where there may be opportunity for improvement. For example, a group may look at their own APP turnover rate. “If turnover rate is high in the first year, it may suggest inadequate onboarding/training, if it is high after 3 years, this may suggest minimal opportunities for professional growth and advancement,” Ms. Bowden said. “I would love to see a consensus group form within SHM of physician and APP leaders to utilize this framework to establish ‘APP-Physician best practices,’ and create a guideline available to all HMGs so that they can successfully incorporate APPs into their practice,” she said.


1. Bowden K et al. Creation of APP-physician best practices: A necessary tool for the growing APP workforce. Hospital Medicine 2019, Abstract 436.

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