73 percent comfortable with advanced dental hygiene practitioners
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2013) — New poll figures indicate the majority of Kentuckians are comfortable seeing a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or another so-called “midlevel clinician” for their routine care. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) also reveals the comfort level is higher among those with experience receiving care from such clinicians.
KHIP highlights include:
♦ Nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) said they would be comfortable seeing a nurse practitioner for routine healthcare. Of those, 50% said they would be very comfortable.
♦ More than 8 in 10 (81 percent) reported they would be comfortable seeing a physician assistant for routine healthcare. Of those, more than 4 in 10 (42 percent) said they would be very comfortable.
♦ Nearly 9 in 10 (86 percent) of those who had received care from a nurse practitioner in the past year said they would be comfortable seeing a nurse practitioner again for routine care.
♦ Nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) of those who had received care from a physician assistant in the past year said they would be comfortable seeing a physician assistant again for routine care.
The poll also inquired about a proposed new “midlevel” profession: advanced dental hygiene practitioners. These practitioners would provide routine dental care including diagnostic and preventive services such as filling cavities. Although advanced dental hygiene practitioners cannot currently be licensed to practice in Kentucky, polling data indicate more than 7 in 10 (73 percent) of Kentucky adults would be comfortable with an advanced dental hygiene practitioner providing routine dental care services.
“As healthcare providers move to create a system of care that includes a range of skill sets and training in its care teams, new strategies emerge that hold promise to increase access to affordable care – not just in urban centers but also in rural and underserved communities,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “The data suggest that the public is very receptive to health care services from different types of clinicians.”
The KHIP was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. The poll was conducted September 20-October 14, 2012, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,680 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of ±2.5 percent.
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a non-profit, philanthropic organization working to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians.