In recent years, the Weill Cornell neurosurgical team noticed an increase in referrals for plagiocephaly, likely due to increased infant back-sleeping and awareness. A plagiocephaly clinic staffed by a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant was established in 2016 to meet this demand, and to decrease the nonsurgical case burden on neurosurgeons. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a clinic directed by advanced nonphysician practice providers (NPPs) on parental satisfaction and nonsurgical work hours for staff neurosurgeons.
Over a 1.5-year period (from January 1, 2016, to June 20, 2017), Likert scale–based surveys were administered to parents before and after their child’s visit to the NPP-staffed clinic. Clinic hours were tracked to assess impact on the neurosurgeon’s workload.
All 185 patients seen in the plagiocephaly clinic over the 1.5-year period completed pre- and postvisit surveys. Parents all reported a significant reduction in their level of concern for their child’s diagnosis after the evaluation, and 95.5% were “very likely” to recommend the clinic. All parents felt that there was an increase in their knowledge base after an appointment with an NPP. Additionally, over 1 year in the study, 170 visits to the NPP plagiocephaly clinic were recorded, resulting in 85 hours that neurosurgeons normally would have spent in the clinic that they now were able to spend in the operating room.
This research provides evidence that an NPP-directed clinic can positively impact parental satisfaction and decrease nonsurgical case burden on neurosurgeons.