Changes occurring in the healthcare environment require healthcare delivery systems to provide high quality care services with increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Healthcare systems are encouraged to use less expensive care providers for medical management responsibilities while maintaining or increasing quality of patient care. Accompanying the changes in healthcare delivery modes is the parallel rise in patient acuity levels related to chronic illnesses of patients admitted for cardiac services such as cardiovascular surgeries. This retrospective, 2-group comparison study examined patient and economic outcomes between 2 groups of adult patients for whom postoperative cardiovascular care was directed by either cardiovascular surgeons alone or cardiovascular surgeons in collaboration with acute care nurse practitioners. Outcome measures included length of stay and cost for an episode of care. Findings revealed that when cardiovascular surgeons, in collaboration with acute care nurse practitioners, directed postoperative care, the length of stay decreased 1.91 days and total cost decreased $5,038.91 per patient.

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