Physician Assistants are Vital to Restructuring the Healthcare Industry

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TL;DR
Patients seem to be confident in their Physician Assistant’s ability to remedy some of the healthcare industries biggest problems such as healthcare shortages, quality, and improving healthcare outcomes.

Physician Assistants Helpful & Reliable

A survey for the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), conducted in mid-September of 2014 by Harris Poll, assessed a group of 1,544 adults (defined as 18 or older) in the United States, 680 of whom had interacted with a physician assistant (PA). Interactions could have been personally as a patient or while accompanying a patient during a visit.

Patients are increasingly finding physician assistants to be helpful and reliable care providers. The survey results show overwhelmingly positive responses to PAs; they’re trusted by patients and thought to deliver excellent service.

  • 93% of survey respondents strongly agree or somewhat agree that PAs will contribute to solving the shortage of healthcare providers in the nation.
  • 91% agree that PAs improve the quality of care provided.
  • 91% feel that PAs improve patient health outcomes.

The results of this survey establish the importance of PAs in the healthcare industry and suggest that their role is vital to the restructuring of the American healthcare system. According to the AAPA, physician assistants treat 3,500 patients a year. They have the authority to conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medication, and assist in surgery. PAs manage good relationships with their patients and provide above satisfactory care, creating good business for practices or hospitals and alleviating the stress caused by the physician shortage.

They also aid in education, research, and administrative services, though their specific duties are dependent on their level of experience, where they work, and which specialty they’ve chosen. This wide range of responsibility makes them invaluable personnel in the workforce. The complete survey results can be found here.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

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