Electronic Medical Record Linkages
When physicians have the ability to share electronic medical records for the benefit of the patient, 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 2015, 50% of physicians whose patients see additional providers in other outpatient practices share data with other providers and hospitals, including those outside of their organizations. 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.
PHYSICIANS SHARING DATA WITH OTHER PROVIDERS, BY TYPE
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 March 2017, 23 states (including the District of Columbia) had full practice laws for nurse practitioners—meaning they can evaluate and diagnose patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments. 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.
STATES WITH FULL, REDUCED OR RESTRICTED PRACTICE LAWS
State Practice Laws by Type