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Nurse practitioner led model of after-hours emergency care in an Australian rural urgent care centre: health service stakeholder perceptions


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Wilson, E, Hanson, LC, Tori, KE ORCID: 0000-0003-4026-6842 and Perrin, BM 2021 , 'Nurse practitioner led model of after-hours emergency care in an Australian rural urgent care centre: health service stakeholder perceptions' , BMC Health Services Research, vol. 21 , pp. 1-11 , doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-06864-9.

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Background: The challenges of providing and accessing quality health care in rural regions have long beenidentified. Innovative solutions are not only required but are also vital if effective, timely and equitable accessto sustainable health care in rural communities is to be realised. Despite trial implementation of somealternative models of health care delivery, not all have been evaluated and their impacts are not wellunderstood. The aim of this study was to explore the views of staff and stakeholders of a rural health servicein relation to the implementation of an after-hours nurse practitioner model of health care delivery in itsUrgent Care Centre.Methods: This qualitative study included semi-structured individual and group interviews with professionalstakeholders of a rural health service in Victoria, Australia and included hospital managers and hospital staffwho worked directly or indirectly with the after-hours NPs in addition to local GPs, GP practice nurses, andparamedics. Thematic analysis was used to generate key themes from the data.Results: Four themes emerged from the data analysis: transition to change; acceptance of the after-hoursnurse practitioner role; workforce sustainability; and rural context.Conclusions: This study suggests that the nurse practitioner-led model is valued by rural health practitionersand could reduce the burden of excessive after-hour on-call duties for rural GPs while improving access toquality health care for community members. As pressure on rural urgent care centres further intensifies withthe presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, serious consideration of the nurse practitioner-led model isrecommended as a desirable and effective alternative.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wilson, E and Hanson, LC and Tori, KE and Perrin, BM
Keywords: NPs, urgent care centres, rural health, health care delivery, models of practice
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Health Services Research
Publisher: Biomed Central Ltd
ISSN: 1472-6963
DOI / ID Number: 10.1186/s12913-021-06864-9
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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