Workforce — Scope of Practice

by | Feb 16, 2022 | State Advocacy Network

Allowing practitioners to perform procedures they simply aren’t trained to do can only lead to unpredictable outcomes, higher costs and greater fragmentation of care. A physician’s years of medical education and training are vital to the health care team and optimal patient care, especially in the event of a complication or medical emergency.

The AACU is particularly concerned about 2023 state legislative efforts to expand pharmacist scope of practice to include testing and treating urinary tract infections. The diagnosis of UTI can be extremely nuanced and is one of the most erroneously diagnosed conditions for which urologists are consulted, and UTI is biggest source of antibiotic resistance because patients are prescribed antibiotics inappropriately. While all healthcare professionals share an important role in providing care to patients, a pharmacist’s skillset is not interchangeable with those of a fully trained physician.

Where We Stand:

  • Physicians, not pharmacists, possess the appropriate knowledge from their extensive training and experience to treat UTI, as well as the tools to responsibly prescribe antibiotics without adding to the ongoing issue of resistance.
  • Healthcare professionals’ scope of practice should be based on standardized, adequate training, and demonstrated competence in patient care.
  • Patients deserve care led by physicians—the most highly educated, trained and skilled health care professionals.
  • The maximum patient-to-physician ratio should be allowed to increase based on the number of physician assistants in a practice.





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