1. Mennick, Fran BSN, RN


While gains are seen, there is room for improvement.


Article Content

Family practices that employ NPs provide better monitoring of patients with diabetes, but it doesn't necessarily translate into better treatment, according to a recent study. Practices that employ NPs were more likely to test glycosylated hemoglobin (HbAIc), microalbumin, and lipid levels than were physician-only practices or those employing physician assistants (PAs).

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

But even in practices employing NPs, 35% of patients with diabetes had not had an HbAIc test in the prior six months, and in the previous year 20% had not had lipid levels checked; only half had reached target HbAIc and lipid levels. The researchers couldn't determine why improved assessment didn't result in better glucose and lipid control. The only differences among the three types of practices were that the PA practices were larger than those with NPs, and practices with NPs or PAs were busier than physician-only practices. The practices compared may not be typical; further research is needed to expand on the findings of this observational study.


Fran Mennick, BSN, RN


Ohman-Strickland PA, et al. Ann Fam Med 2008;6(1):14-22.