How the Team Approach Can Drive a High-Performance Vascular Practice

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On Saturday, June 3, at 10:30 a.m., vascular surgeons and other members of the vascular care team will come together for a session entitled “Building the Vascular Team – Evolving Collaboration of Surgeons and Nurses.”

This session, run jointly by the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Society for Vascular Nursing, will offer attendees “advice and information about how best to value your team, form your team, educate your team, and utilize your team,” said co-moderator Kellie R. Brown, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Dr. Kellie Brown

Dr. Kellie Brown

The role of a nurse specialist has not always been well-delineated, said Dr. Brown. For example, there are no special licensure requirements. However, she said, nurse specialists represent “a huge value within your practice,” adding that if talented nurses can be identified, retained, and their skills developed, “they can add a lot and make you much more efficient.”

Yaron Sternbach, MD, and Marie Rossi, RN, BS, both of The Vascular Group, PLLC, in Albany, N. Y., will give the physician and the nursing perspective on “Defining the High-Performing Vascular Practice,” with an emphasis on forming and maintaining a high-performing team, said Dr. Brown.

In turn, Dr. Brown and co-moderator Tiffany K. Street, MSN, ACNP-BC, of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing will give the physician and the advanced practice provider’s perspective on integrating advanced practice providers into a vascular practice.

Dr. Brown said that a vascular surgeon can really benefit from understanding “how best to have the nursing and advanced practice members of your team really work to the top of their licenses.” This, she said, is when a high-performance vascular team really starts working well: “You have a whole team contributing to the care of the patient. The surgeon’s doing surgery, the nurse is doing nursing, and the advanced practice providers are complementing the surgeon’s work in pre- and post-op care.”

Ms. Street agreed. “From a physician’s perspective, we all have unique roles and all have something to contribute toward the care of the patient. How do we get the right people in the right positions, doing the right type of work?” This, she said, will be a key take-away from the session.

Ms. Rossi, also a co-moderator, will speak in more detail about vascular specialty nursing, in a session entitled, “The Case for Vascular Specialty Nursing: What We Know and What Remains to be Clarified.” In another session, attendees will hear from Kathy Rich, PhD, a vascular nurse in Chesterton, Ind. Dr. Rich sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Vascular Nursing; her presentation is entitled “Expanding the Knowledge Base: Training Paradigms in Vascular Nursing.”

The morning’s presentations will be rounded out by Ms. Street, who will give a nuts-and-bolts presentation entitled, “Integrating Nursing Roles into Daily Practice.” Here, she plans to touch on some of the realities of creating and maintaining a high-performing vascular team. These include scope of practice, competencies, compliance, and billing perspectives, all of which can be perceived hurdles to integrating nurse specialists and advanced practice providers into a vascular practice.

Ms. Street will also provide information about potential career paths within vascular nursing in a presentation entitled “Careers in Vascular Nursing: Opportunities for Growth.”

The joint session, said Dr. Brown, represents “an exciting direction” for the Society for Vascular Surgery. “There will be more opportunities for collaboration between individuals in our two career paths,” as the use of advanced practice providers and specialty nurses grows within vascular surgery.

Ms. Street agreed, adding that the team approach doesn’t negate the surgeon’s role. “Surgery can’t be surgery without surgeons. It’s just about using people in the right positions to take the best care of patients,” she said.

Dr. Brown said that the goal of the team approach in vascular surgery is to achieve both high-quality and efficient care; reaching this mark is an especially relevant goal today, since “the need is going to keep rising, and we can’t train vascular surgeons fast enough,” she said. The team approach is a way to have the vascular surgeon care for more patients as demand soars. “In this era of declining reimbursement, we all need to be more efficient,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown reported being an investigator for the LEOPARD trial. Ms. Street reported no relevant financial relationships.

Saturday, June 3

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. SDCC, Room 3

C13: Building the Vascular Team

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