For the first time, five health-care provider organizations are partnering to conduct a survey to better understand the specific roles and responsibilities that advanced practice providers have on the cancer care team. The survey is a joint effort by ASCO; the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO); the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA); the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology (APAO); and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
Advanced practice providers play a critical—and growing—role in the delivery of cancer care in the United States. Data reported in the ASCO Practice Census indicate that practices are increasingly relying on advanced practice providers in the delivery of patient care. In the 2015 ASCO Practice Census, nearly three-quarters of surveyed practices reported employing advanced practice providers—up substantially from the 52% reported in the 2014 Practice Census. However, until now, little research has been conducted to more clearly define the size of the advanced practice provider workforce in oncology or to understand the scope of their roles and responsibilities.
The survey, which kicked off earlier this month, will assess how advanced practice providers may be able to help address the current challenges in the oncology workforce, where nearly one in five oncologists is nearing retirement. The survey will also provide critical information on how nurse practitioners and physician assistants care for patients with cancer, to better define their current roles and responsibilities.
In addition, the survey will look at current paths of formal and informal specialized training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in cancer care and will gauge advanced practice providers’ satisfaction with the organization of oncology practices.
To learn more about ASCO’s research on the cancer care workforce, visit www.asco.org/research-progress/reports-studies. ■
© 2017. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.