Though there are many downloadable apps that are beneficial for health, one of the most helpful resources is actually not of the digital variety. An APP (advanced practice provider) is a healthcare professional who is certified to treat patients, prescribe medications, evaluate, diagnose, order lab tests, and make referrals. Many APPs can see patients in a quick timeframe, and have the availability to spend extended time with the patient during their office visit.
Quicker access to quality care
Research highlights that patients feel higher satisfaction and experience better outcomes when their healthcare provider spends more time with them. APPs are often more available to spend extended time with a patient because their schedules typically aren’t as full as physicians’. An APP can serve as a patient’s primary care provider, and they also practice across numerous other specialties.
Studies have shown that there is no difference in the quality of care between an APP and a physician. Between 2008 and 2016, APP participation in primary care increased by 24%. This increase is due to the fact that APPs can provide much of the same care as a primary care physician, but often have more availability. Many people can relate to how difficult it can be to search for a primary care provider. Often, overly full physician schedules lead to weeks- or months-long waiting lists. APPs typically are able to see patients in a quicker timeframe, for the same high quality of care.
A fully credentialed provider
APPs have advanced credentials and hold master’s level degrees or doctorates. Two of the most common groups of APPs include nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). Many NPs and PAs even have specialized training in certain areas, such as diabetes and nutrition counseling or women’s health.
The training to become an NP focuses on whole-patient care. This means that NPs consider the health of the entire patient: mental, emotional, and physical. The training to become a PA involves a medical training model similar to medical school and emphasizes primary care. Primary care APPs focus on preventive care, emphasizing that a healthy lifestyle can prevent and treat many health conditions, diseases, or illnesses.
The bottom line
APPs are highly educated and well-trained medical professionals. They place the patient at the center of their care and strive to make sure patients are satisfied and fully understand their treatment. APPs also complete continuing education, ensuring they are up-to-date on the most advanced treatment options and best practices in medicine. Just like the downloadable app, APPs are accessible, knowledgeable, and a valuable health resource.