Physician extenders on surgical services: the need for a systems perspective

Physician extenders on surgical services: the need for a systems perspective

Can J Surg 2018;61(2):80-81 | PDF

Heather Smith, MD; Craig Kuziemsky, PhD; Caitlin Champion, MD, MSc

Summary

Adding physician extenders (PEs) to surgical teams has the potential to affect care delivery in multiple ways. To develop evidence-based recommendations on integrating PEs into surgical teams, we must recognize that patient care is a complex, adaptive system and requires a health systems perspective to understand how changes will affect outcomes. It is the best method of assessing the system adaptations and trade-offs of adding PEs prior to implementation. Such work would help to optimize research and management of limited health care resources.


Accepted Aug. 14, 2017

Affiliations: From the Department of General Surgery, the Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ont. (Smith, Champion); and the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont. (Kuziemsky).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this article and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.011117

Correspondence to: H. Smith, The Ottawa Hospital, 725 Parkdale Ave, WM 150b, Ottawa ON K1Y 4E9, hsmit037@uottawa.ca