Measuring Nurse Practitioner Productivity

Jacqueline Rhoads; Laurie Anne Ferguson; Cynthia A. Langford


Dermatology Nursing. 2006;18(1):32-38. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

As the role of the nurse practitioner (NP) evolves, the need to demonstrate productivity becomes more important. Productivity data provides NPs with practice statistics to generate business or use in contract negotiations with potential clients such as employers, managed care organizations, and insurance companies. However, beyond the numbers of patients seen per day or amount of reimbursement a provider brings to the practice, NPs may provide additional benefit that is not captured with physician productivity measures. Information to acquaint NPs with key aspects of recording productivity and ways NPs can organize productivity data within their practice to determine worth of service are presented.

Over the years the nurse practitioner (NP) role has evolved into an impressive dimension focused on providing quality care to the community served. This focus includes the tasks of teacher, researcher, consultant, mentor and coach, leader, and ethical decision maker. It involves practice in a variety of acute and chronic care sites such as hospitals, clinics, and private offices. The care the NP provides includes information on health maintenance and disease prevention, counseling, and patient education.

As the role of the NP evolves, the need to demonstrate productivity also becomes more important. Twenty years ago research measurement focused on public safety and quality of care. Today measurement of productivity is important in determining the worth or value of NP practice. Further, productivity measures are used to monitor individual performance, create incentive plans, compare departmental contributions within institutions, and monitor resources needed for patient care (Johnson & Newton, 2002). Industries outside of health care have long recognized the vital importance of productivity measurement on its enterprise. They believe that enhanced productivity improves the business enterprise's opportunity to create wealth for its workforce (Proctor, 2005). But very little information has been published related to ways NPs can measure productivity and efficiency.