PA Facts

PA LANDSCAPE

  • The introduction of PAs into Canada began in the Canadian Armed Forces approximately 40 years ago.
  • PAs were introduced into the Canadian public healthcare system 14 years ago in Manitoba, in Ontario 8 years ago, in New Brunswick 4 years ago and in Alberta in 2013.
  • There are approximately 500 PAs practicing in Canada, roughly 300 of which are practicing in Ontario.
  • PAs have been practicing in the US for roughly 50 years and is one of the fastest growing segments of the healthcare workforce with over 100,000 PAs practicing in primary care and virtually every medical specialty[1].

 ROLE OF PAs IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM

  • PAs in primary care settings can be used for 75% of all visits without referral to physician level care.[2]
  • PAs can manage up to 62% of all patients in emergency care environments.[3]
  • In an Ontario study on the utilization of PAs, 71% of physicians working with PAs reported that the PA had a positive impact on patient throughput, with higher results in the non-hospital settings than in the hospital settings. .[4]
  • In the same study; 95% of physicians working with PAs said that the PA had increased their own efficiency in providing care.[5]
  • PAs in emergency departments can reduce wait times by 1.9 times and reduce left without being seen rates by half.[6]
  • In general surgery the utilization of PAs can reduce late discharges (from 20% to 0.5%), increase early discharge rate (16%) and allow residents to spend less time on EMR (21 hr/week vs 31 hr/week).[7]
  • PAs can increase surgical throughput of primary joint replacements by 42% a year and reduce wait times for surgeries by 14 weeks.
  • Employment of PAs in infectious disease services can lead to a decrease in time to consultation from 21.4 hours to 14.3 hours and shorten the length of stay by a differential 3.6 days.[8]
  • PAs are allowing physicians to increase the number of patients they are able to treat in a day and to serve in their practices overall. Having a PA on staff has permitted many physicians to provide same-day access for patients with acute problems.[9]
  • PAs in long-term care settings have been shown to decrease the hospital admission rates by 38% for seniors.[10]
  • The 30-day readmission rate was reduced by 25% in patients receiving visits from PAs as part of a home care program.[11]
  • Among Canadians that have received care, more than nine in ten were satisfied (75%) or somewhat satisfied (18%) with the experience.[12]
  • More than eight in ten Canadians support (56%) or somewhat support (26%) a greater role for PAs.[13]

 

[1] AAPAFact Sheet. (2015) pg. 1. Retrieved from: https://www.aapa.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147483705

[2] Schweitzer, S.O. & Record, J.C. (1981). Staffing primary care in 1990: physician replacement and cost saving. Springer Publication Co., New York.

[3] The Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine. (2011). Roles and Task Assignments. para 3, p.p. 9.

[4] Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.(2012). Ontario Physician Assistant Implementation – Report of the Evaluation Subcommittee. p.p. 25

[5] Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.(2012). Ontario Physician Assistant Implementation – Report of the Evaluation Subcommittee. p.p. 27

[6] Ducharme, Adler, Pelletier, Murray and Tepper. (2009). Impact on patient flow after the integration of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in Ontario emergency departments. The Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 5, p.p. 458. Retrieved from: http://www.cjem-online.ca/v11/n5/p455

[7] Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, General Surgery. March 2015

[8] Toronto East General Hospital. Infectious Diseases. March 2015

[9] Taylor, M.T.,Taylor D. W. (unpublished) (2012). Benefits and Barriers to the Employment of Physician Assistants by Physicians in the Ontario Health Care System: A Qualitative Study.

[10] Hooker, Cawley and Asprey. (2010). Physician Assistant Specialization: Nonprimary care. PA Specialty Care. Ch. 7. p.p. 235.

[11] Nabagiez JP, Shariff MA, Khan MA, Molloy WJ, McGinn JT Jr. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Jan;145(1):225-31, 233; discussion 232-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.09.047. (2013). Physician assistant home visit program to reduce hospital readmissions. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23244257

[12] Nanos Research. (2014). Awareness and Impressions of Physician Assistants. Executive Summary. p.p. 2. Retrieved from: http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/POLNAT-S14-T623.pdf

[13] Nanos Research. (2014). Awareness and Impressions of Physician Assistants. Executive Summary. p.p. 2. Retrieved from: http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/POLNAT-S14-T623.pdf