Before nurse practitioners begin working with a supervising physician, they must enter into a collaborative practice agreement. The collaborative practice agreement (CPA) will stipulate as to what medical acts a nurse practitioner will perform. CPAs need to be specific as to what clinical problems the nurse practitioner may frequently encounter and what treatment the nurse practitioner is to give the patient. So, if a CPA has proper quality assurance standards and outlines the treatment for frequent clinical problems, then when does a nurse practitioner need to confer or consult with their supervising physician?
- Continuous availability of the primary or secondary supervising physician(s) and the nurse practitioner (NP) to each other for consultation by direct communication or telecommunication.
- Process developed and implemented between physician(s) and NP for the ongoing review of care. This includes each practice site. The process must be written and include one or more frequently encountered clinical problems.
- NPs and the supervising physician are required to meet at least every six months to identify clinical problems and implement changes in treatment plans, if needed. The meeting must be documented, and the document must be signed and dated by those who attended. The meeting documents must be available for review by members or agents of both Boards for five years and retained by both the NP and the supervising physician.
- If a collaborative practice agreement is new, then the NP and supervising physician must meet at least once a month for the first six months from the implementation of the CPA. The duo will document the meetings and identify clinical problems and implement changes in treatment plans, if needed. Just like the meeting held every six months, these meetings will be documented with the document signed and dated by everyone that attends the meeting. Again, the meeting documents must be available for review by members or agents of both Boards for five years and retained by both the NP and the supervising physician.