3 Key Tactics When Supervising Advanced Healthcare Professionals: Healthcare Risk Management Week Part 2

In part 1 of our article for Healthcare Risk Management (HRM), we outlined the issues of informed consent and informed refusals and what steps to take to protect your practice. In part 2 of our article, CAP’s Risk Management and Patient Safety Department will list the strategies and safeguards to have in place when working with advanced healthcare professionals.

Supervising physicians receive claims against them when their supervised advanced healthcare professionals have an adverse event or a claim. The problem stems from simple lack of communication. The common response to a majority of these cases is,  “I didn’t do anything wrong, my PA or NP didn’t keep me in the loop.” It is vitally important for the supervising physician to have open communication with their staff. By being an active component of the physician/PA or NP team you can ensure they understand and aware of your practice's policies and procedures.

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Below are some safeguards you can implement to protect your practice:

  1. When hiring a PA or NP, complete a Delegation of Services Agreement or Nursing Standardized Procedure for each practitioner.
  2. Board requirements for supervising a PA or NP differ slightly. Get familiar with the requirements for any practitioner that is brought on board.   
  3. Remember, there are limits to the amount of advanced practitioners that may be supervised by one physician. Keep the ratio 1:4 in mind, one physician per four advanced practitioners. Any more than that, and it really wouldn’t be supervising.

At CAP, we are here for you. If you need advice or have questions regarding medical professional liability risk, call the CAP Hotline at 800-252-0555 to address the immediate needs of your practice.


Authored by Amy McLain, BSN, RN
Senior Risk Management & Patient Safety Specialist/Cap Cares.