Utilization of Associate Providers (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) in the Emergency Department is a healthcare model that has evolved over the last 35 years. As an innovator in healthcare, Grady Memorial Hospital first employed Associate Providers in the Emergency Care Center (ECC) in looking for this 1998. In 2001,Emory University’s Department of Emergency Medicine acquired the Associate Providers to facilitate the delivery of quality, competent, and safe care to our patients within the ECC.
Since that time, the Associate Providers have been providing healthcare in Grady’s ECC within an ethical framework, through assessment, diagnosis, and management of injury or illness. The role of the AP is multifaceted and includes:
- Diagnosing and managing acute episodic conditions and acute exacerbations of chronic illnesses;
- Counseling patients and families on health promotion, disease prevention, and injury prevention services;
- Engaging in effective interdisciplinary collaboration with other healthcare professionals;
- Acting as advocates, consultants, and researchers.
At Grady, the Associate Providers are directly involved in patient care in the newly completed Marcus Trauma Center (MTC), the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU), the Red Zone, Triage and the Patient Ambulatory Care Express (PACe) representing approximately 15% of the total patient volume. The breadth of acuity managed by the Associate Providers includes those with minor healthcare problems in PACe up to the multiply-injured major trauma patient in the MTC. Working alongside our board-certified Emergency Medicine physicians, residents, nurses and other clinicians, the Associate Providers augment the team of dedicated healthcare professionals who collaboratively manage the emergency care provided in a complex and often unpredictable environment.
As emergency healthcare systems scramble to respond to the adverse effects of economic crises, staffing shortages, and high patient volumes, Emory University and Grady continue to recognize Associate Providers as an essential component of the Emergency Department team in providing innovative, cost effective and high quality patient care in a dynamic environment.
For more information please contact Tryphena Pacitti, Nurse Practitioner, Grady ECC, Lead Provider for PACe at Grady Memorial Hospital.