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APP Role in Care Delivery

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Advanced practice providers (APPs) practice in a variety of settings, including the emergency department, clinical wards, specialty clinics, and operating rooms. They care for patients in family practice and almost every specialty, including behavioral health, oncology, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and many others. They may have wide interests or choose to focus on a specific aspect of care, such as diabetes education or coordination of transplant services. While some APPs evaluate and treat patients by prescribing medications, others assist surgeons in the operating room, administer anesthetics during surgery, or even deliver babies! The University of Colorado APP faculty work as a part of an inter-professional health care team. The following clinical areas exemplify the APP contribution to patient care at the University of Colorado Hospital:


Blood Disorders Center

BMT.jpgThe Blood Disorders Center (BDC) offers a variety of state-of-the-art treatments and support to patients diagnosed with blood cancers (ie. leukemia, lymphoma, plasma cell neoplasms) and non-cancer blood disorders. Nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) are an integral part of the BDC healthcare team caring for patients in the hospital, clinics and procedural settings. They collaborate with other members of the multi-disciplinary team that includes an attending physician, pharmacist, dietician, RN, case manager, and social worker to manage the acute and complex medical needs of blood disorders patients. 

In addition, the BDC APP faculty perform many scholarly activities including student/resident training, quality and safety projects, publications, local and national presentations and much more. The APP team makes a tremendous impact on the high quality care we provide patients and caregivers within the BDC.


Multi-disciplinary Cancer Care Clinics

MDC.jpgThe Colorectal and Peritoneal Multi-disciplinary Clinic (MDC) is one of six MDCs, serving patients with other GI malignancies (esophageal and gastric, pancreas and biliary, and liver and neuroendocrine), thoracic malignancies, and sarcomas. Frequently patients with these complex cancers are being treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.

 The MDC is designed for patients to see our team of experts and specialists over one day with the ultimate goal of leaving our doors with a treatment plan. A nurse practitioner or physician assistant coordinates each of these clinics. From initial conversation to commencement of the treatment plan, an APP guides patients through the process and collaborates with physicians (specialty surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, radiologists, pathologists), nursing staff, and supportive care providers (dieticians, social workers, psychologists) to make this challenging time as easy as possible for patients and families.  APPs are an integral part of making this team-based care possible. In addition to these clinical duties, APPs engage in research activities, process and quality improvement projects, and education of students and residents. 

Interventional Radiology

IR provider pic.pngInterventional Radiology is an exciting specialty that provides minimally invasive image guided interventions and diagnostics for a variety of diseases and symptoms. IR nurse practitioners and physician assistants ensure that patients receive excellent care by coordinating and collaborating with all members of the healthcare team. They participate in multidisciplinary conferences to collaborate with other departments and provide continuity of care.  APPs perform inpatient and outpatient procedures including all central venous access (chest ports, non-tunneled and tunneled lines, PICC), paracentesis, thoracentesis, peritoneal and thoracic PleurX, tunneled line and chest port removals. We teach these procedures to fellows, residents, medical students, and student NPs/PAs throughout the year and also provide didactic training to all trainees including the IR staff (radiology technicians and nurses). We manage and coordinate care for patients in the clinic setting along with an attending physician and also provide an APP clinic to assist with follow-up, complications, and issues that arise following all interventions. Our APPs participate in research, data collection, and committees targeted towards process and quality improvement. The APPs make a significant contribution to the department and have the autonomy and support from our colleagues to perform at the highest level.