Building an Improved Infrastructure for Collection & Analysis of Nursing Workforce
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010 with the goal of expanding healthcare coverage to all Americans by reforming insurance policies and practices (Tillett, 2011). The ACA upsurges the demand for an increase in primary care providers in order to supply quality care to the much larger population that will have coverage and therefore acquiring healthcare. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) through its report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health has generated a solution to the shortage of primary care providers by promoting a transformation of the nursing profession to fill the gap.
The IOM report had four key messages needed for advancing the future of nursing. “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training; achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression; be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, …and; effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure” (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The report also included eight recommendations needed to facilitate the necessary changes to in the nursing profession so meet to demands of the healthcare reform.
The purpose of this paper is to explore recommendation # 8: Building an improved infrastructure for collection and analysis of interprofessional workforce data. This recommendation falls under IOM’s key message # 4 which indicates the necessity of better data collection and improved information infrastructure for effective workplace planning and policy making (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The IOM realizes that if policy makers are to plan effectively for needed changes in nursing practice to meet the demands of a changing healthcare system, they need accurate date on current healthcare professionals (Moulton, et. al, 2012). In the chapter titled Meeting the need for Better Data on the Heath Care Workforce, the IOM mentioned that major gaps exists in the availability of current data on the number and types of professionals within the healthcare workforce (IOM, 2011).
Decline In Primary Care Practitioners
According to Bodenheimer and Pham (2010), there has been a significant decline in the number of primary care practitioners as more and more medical graduates pursue careers in some type specialty. The shortage of primary care practitioners mean patients will have difficulties accessing care due to the high ratio of provider to population. An estimated 32 million Americans are expected to gain access to healthcare as of 2014 (Auerbach, Staiger, Muench & Buerhaus, 2012), which will only intensify the disparity between primary care practitioners and the population. Approximately one-fourth of primary care practitioners workforce is comprised of Advanced Practice...