It’s been the belief of some urgent care operators and thought leaders that medical assistants are perfectly capable of handling many of the tasks registered nurses usually manage, at a lower cost to the operation’s payroll. Spectrum Health is now banking on it, as they’ve announced that RNs are being completely phased out of their clinics, with medical assistants picking up the majority of the work the RNs have been doing. The Grand Rapids, MI-based company issued a statement explaining the move is a nod to evolving norms in the industry. “During our regular evaluation of best practices, which included review of national standards, Spectrum Health changed our staffing model at our Grand Rapids-based urgent care locations,” it said. “Our model does not require RNs in addition to providers at these sites.” The company is encouraging its current urgent care RNs to apply for positions at other facilities in its system. JUCM explored the extent to which medical assistants can help urgent care centers provide excellent care while minimizing cost in an article entitled Cost-Efficient Staffing with Medical Assistants. It’s available in our archive.
Spectrum Health Expands the Role of Medical Assistants—and Eliminates Urgent Care RNs