Value of Physician Assistants: Understanding the Role of Physician Assistants Within Health Systems

The Conference Board of Canada, 62 pages, June 29, 2016
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The first in a series, this report aims to set the stage and act as a backgrounder to better understand the role of physician assistants within health care systems.

Document Highlights

Delivering high-quality, effective, and sustainable services is both a top priority and one of the most pressing challenges facing governments and businesses. Physician assistants (PAs) are academically prepared and highly skilled health care professionals who provide a broad range of medical services in different clinical settings, under the supervision of a physician. One of the current challenges of the profession in Canada is the lack of data on the impact of PAs from a productivity and cost-effectiveness perspective.

The first in a series, this report aims to set the stage and act as a backgrounder to better understand the role of PAs within health care systems. It comprises a literature review and brief Canadian-based case studies of PA models of care. It introduces PAs; discusses their role in various settings; and synthesizes relevant information about the effectiveness and efficiency of PAs in Canada and elsewhere. The report is funded by the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The College of Family Physicians of Canada, and Alberta Health Services.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction and Background

  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Overview of the Physician Assistant Profession

  • History and Regulation
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Liability
  • Roles

Chapter 3—Models of Care and Impact

  • Physician Assistant Models of Care
  • Impact of Physician Assistants in Health Care Systems

Chapter 4—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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