COVID-19 Care Model: Leveraging Advanced Practice Providers

Bonnie Proulx, DNP, APRN, PNP-BC, MSN, BSN


Nurs Econ. 2020;38(3):149-151. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a well-coordinated advanced practice provider (APP) leadership team at Emory healthcare redeployed its APPs and created alternative care models, leveraging skill sets to meet the demands in shifting areas of patient care.


Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States, healthcare systems quickly transitioned from business as usual to preparing for the influx of acutely ill and critical care hospitalizations that have been witnessed across the world. In response to this "all hands on deck" mentality, all healthcare staff, including advanced practice providers (APPs) [nurse practitioners and physician assistants], were carefully examined for the ability to redeploy to areas of critical need such as intensive care units (ICU), emergency departments (ED), and hospital medicine (HM). Also, the need arose to provide care, COVID-19 testing, and management in the subacute outpatient setting. APPs can provide great value to a practice and enhance the quality and continuum of patient care, highlighted in the current pandemic (Morris, 2016).

In response to the potential surge, Emory Healthcare's APP leadership team examined the skill set of its 1,053 APPs. Metzger and Rivers (2014) highlighted the value of an APP leadership structure in understanding the scope of practice and role definition. The robust APP leadership structure in place was the foundation that facilitated the swift completion of such an arduous task to identify resources while allowing for transparent and clear communication of the goals to all APPs. Each leader worked with their APP teams, identifying prior clinical experiences and competencies that could be leveraged quickly to meet identified clinical needs across the organization in various areas. One of the key strategies was to provide support and relief for primary care providers for potential redeployment to higher-acuity areas. The compendium of the APPs highlighted ICU, ED, and HM/inpatient experiences. The data were shared among the APP chief teams to contact their APPs and discuss redeployment opportunities available emergently as well as in planning for the surge. The teams provided just-in-time competency training and partnership ahead of the surge to assure foundational familiarity before redeployment to other clinical areas. This column highlights specific examples of care models established through the participation of the APP redeployment across high-demand areas.