Electronic Medical Record Linkages
When physicians have the ability to share electronic medical records, it encourages integration within and across health settings and systems. Coordination and information sharing help to ensure quality, safety, and continuity of care.
According to the National Electronic Health Records Survey, in 2017, 37% of physicians electronically communicated (receive or send) patient information with ambulatory care providers outside their organization or unaffiliated hospitals. An increase in this number would indicate that physicians are communicating across health settings—helping to facilitate the flow of information for more coordinated and patient-centered care.
SOURCE: National Electronic Health Records Survey 2017
Physicians sharing data by provider type, in 2017
Full Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners play a key role in improving the health of their communities. Removing scope of practice barriers allows nurse practitioners to provide preventive and routine medical care in a wider range of settings.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, as of December 2019, 22 states and the District of Columbia (total, 23) have full practice laws for nurse practitioners—meaning they can evaluate and diagnose patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments. There have been no changes in state practice laws since 2017. An increase in the number of states allowing nurse practitioners to work at the top of their license would indicate a greater availability of health care services while also linking to reduced costs, especially for underserved people. During emergency times like the COVID-19 pandemic, this flexibility for nurses can be important for broadening access to care.
SOURCE: American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2019
NUMBER OF STATES WITH FULL, REDUCED, OR RESTRICTED PRACTICE LAWS FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS
STATES WITH FULL, REDUCED, OR RESTRICTED PRACTICE LAWS FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS, as of December 2019