Nurse co-visits bring less burnout, happier patients

By Shannon Geis
March 21, 2017
Body of Knowledge Domain(s): Patient-Centered Care

As practices move toward value-based care, implementing new care team models can be essential in providing patient-centered care. At Clinica Family Health in Denver, the community health center has been experimenting with what they call “co-visits,” where registered nurses do intake and document a patient before presenting the patient to the provider, and then assist with patient education after the diagnosis is made.

This model allows the clinic’s providers to see more patients without taking up extra time in their schedule or requiring double booking. Patients also get more attention from the entire care team, which has increased patient satisfaction.

“These visits take a provider, in real time, five to 10 minutes, typically around seven minutes, and at the end of the day the nurse has done the bulk of the documentation,” explains Malia Davis, MSN, ANP, director of nursing services and clinical team development at Clinica. 

Implementing co-visits has also made it easier for patients to make same-day appointments without overburdening the staff. In fact, the nursing staff appreciate the added responsibility. “It’s amazing because we are feeling that we are doing exactly what the nurses want to do, not only [staying] on phones all day to do triage for the patient. We have different roles in the pod with the co-visit, but the most important thing is we have contact with the patient, and we try to solve all the patient problems in a short time,” says Karina Martinez, RN, nurse team manager, Clinica Family Health. 

Listen to the full episode to learn more about the challenges Clinica faced in implementing the model, and how they made a case for it financially. 

Learn more about the Clinica Family Health co-visit model and other ways of utilizing your clinical staff for big benefits in the March issue of MGMA Connection magazine. 

Visit our Podcasts page to listen to previous episodes of MGMA Small Talk, or subscribe on iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud so that you’ll never miss an episode.

Shannon Geis, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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