Press Release: Public Survey on Healthcare Providers

​June 28, 2013

 

Poll shows Americans recognize the importance of lifelong learning, regular skill evaluation for Healthcare providers who will treat them

 

Chicago – Large majorities of Americans want the healthcare professionals who treat them to be required to keep up with developments in their professional fields and want their skills assessed by independent bodies.  Seventy-four percent of American consumers believe that healthcare providers should not be excused from lifelong learning regardless of years of practice. Sixty-six percent believe that they should not be excused from being periodically evaluated on their qualifications and their ability to practice their profession safely by the professional agency that originally certifies their competence. These findings come from a national survey conducted on behalf of The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC) by Harris Interactive, one of the world’s leading market research firms. The NBCRNA and CAC sought to gain a better understanding of the public’s perspective about the credentialing standards required of their healthcare providers. The NBCRNA also was interested in ensuring that nurse anesthetists’ commitment to quality care aligns with the expectations of the patients they serve.

 

Americans’ replies indicated that the public prefers healthcare providers to adhere to a multimodal recertification program. For example:

  • 91% of U.S. adults think it is very important/important that a health care professional who is going to treat them has passed an examination on their profession’s specific knowledge
  • 89% believe it is very important/important that health care professionals who are going to treat them attend educational programs throughout their career to refresh their knowledge and learn about the latest scientific evidence and new technologies
  • 85% believe it is important that health care professionals who are going to treat them have an independent body of health professionals evaluate their skills/knowledge to certify them as competent

 

The NBCRNA recently introduced the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) program for nurse anesthetists. The CPC program requires a commitment to learning, mastering skills, and being assessed at regular intervals. The survey results demonstrated that the public’s perspective is aligned with many of the best practices in certification and recertification, and supports the key elements of the NBCRNA’s Continued Professional Certification program.

 

“As a healthcare certification body, the NBCRNA has the responsibility to ensure our certification and recertification programs reflect the ever evolving and complex demands of the healthcare environment to include the expectations of the patients we protect,” said Dr. Charles Vacchiano, president of the NBCRNA Board of Directors. “Nurse anesthetists appreciate the critical role they play in healthcare, and are committed to demonstrating that they deserve the trust their patients place in them.”

 

The survey’s findings also indicate that the majority of Americans disagree with the concept of grandfathering when new recertification requirements are introduced. When asked specifically the number of years a healthcare provider should practice in order to be excused from new requirements of periodic testing, training and evaluated continuing education, the majority of respondents selected that providers should not be excused from any requirement, regardless of time in practice.
 
David Swankin, president and CEO of the Citizen Advocacy Center, called the survey findings “extremely valuable.” He said it was critical that healthcare credentialing bodies work to understand the public’s perspective in their decision making process. “The CAC commends the NBCRNA for supporting the measurement of this valuable information and for its leadership in this area. The nurse anesthesia profession is offering a good example to other nursing professions in its commitment to a rigorous continuing competence program.”
 
For questions about the NBCRNA, please contact Joanne Orlando at 708-667-0103, or jorlando@nbcrna.com.
 
About the NBCRNA
The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is a not-for profit corporation dedicated to promoting patient safety by enhancing provider quality in the field of nurse anesthesia. The NBCRNA accomplishes its mission through the development and implementation of credentialing programs that support lifelong learning among nurse anesthetists. For more information please visit, www.NBCRNA.com.
 
About the CAC
Since 1987, the CAC has served the public interest by enhancing the effectiveness and accountability of health professional oversight bodies. The CAC offers training, research and networking opportunities for public members and for the health care regulatory, credentialing, and governing boards on which they serve. For more information please visit, www.cacenter.org.
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Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States between May 14th and 16th, 2013 among 2,052 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
 
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
 
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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 Survey Questions and Data

 

To view the raw data results of this survey, click HERE.

 
BASE: U.S. RESPONDENTS (Q2109/244)
Qx05      Professional certification programs are used in many industries to test an individual’s knowledge and ability to perform a specific job. A person who is certified is considered professionally competent to work in his or her area of expertise. In the health care field, certification is used in many specialty areas, including pediatrics, cardiology, oncology and anesthesia.  In many critical health care specialties, a person cannot practice unless he or she holds a currently valid certification.
 
Considering this information, how important is it to you, if at all, that a health care professional (e.g., doctor, nurse, dentist, physical therapist, psychologist) who is going to treat you have each of the following characteristics?
                Qx06      [DISPLAY HORIZONTALLY]
                                1              Not at all important
                                2              Somewhat important
                                3              Important
                                4              Very important
                [RANDOMIZE]
               
2. Have passed an examination on their profession’s specific knowledge
3. Have attended educational programs throughout their career to refresh their knowledge and learn about the latest scientific evidence and new technologies
4. Have experience  practicing their professional skills
5. Have an independent body of health professionals evaluate their skills/knowledge and certify them as competent.


BASE: U.S. RESPONDENTS (Q2109/244)
Qx10      Many health care professionals are required to regularly attend classes and receive periodic evaluations in order to maintain their license to practice. The requirements vary depending on their area of practice.
Do you think a practicing health care professional should be excused from any of the following education and evaluation procedures? If yes, please indicate after how many years  of working they should be excused from the following.
               
                Qx11      [DISPLAY HORIZONTALLY]
                                1              Yes – They should be excused, but only after 1 year of licensed practice
                                2              Yes – They should be excused, but only after 5 years of licensed practice
                                3              Yes – They should be excused, but only after 10 years of licensed practice
                                4              Yes – They should be excused, but only after 20 years of licensed practice

7. No, they should not be excused. They should be required to do this regardless of how many years of licensed practice they have experienced.
 
[RANDOMIZE]
 
1. Pass a periodic test of their profession’s specific knowledge requirements
2. Be periodically evaluated on their qualifications and their ability to practice their profession safely by the professional organization that originally certifies their competence to practice
3. Attend educational programs to become familiar with new findings, treatments or diagnoses in their field
4. Complete training courses that refresh and test their knowledge of previously learned information
               

BASE: U.S. RESPONDENTS (Q2109/244)
Qx20      If you were undergoing a procedure that required a health care professional to administer anesthesia (i.e., medication that reduces or blocks sensation to either your whole body or localized to one area, usually for a surgical procedure) to you, which of the following types of training and/or evaluation would you expect the health care professional who is administering it to have been required to complete? Please select all that apply.
                [RANDOMIZE, BUT KEEP 3-5 TOGETHER IN THAT ORDER]
                [MULTIPLE RESPONSE, BUT DO NOT ALLOW RESPONDENTS TO SELECT 3-5 TOGETHER]
 
1. Graduate from an accredited anesthesia program
2. Attend periodic training on new technologies and procedures throughout their career
3. Pass a one-time written examination
4. Pass a written examination every 5-10 years to ensure they were still competent to practice
5. Pass a written examination every year to ensure they were still competent to practice
6. Some other type of training and/or evaluation