The Nature of Academic Clinical Practice: Nursing and Allied Health Centers
Nursing Centers, whether practiced in a freestanding facility, or
through service contracts with existing agencies, have existed since
the mid-1970s. The goal of nursing (and more recently, allied health)
centers is to provide citizens with direct access to nursing and allied
health services, to diagnose and treat human conditions that impede
health and optimal human functioning, to model service delivery in
a patient-centered manner, to secure adequate and fair reimbursement
for services provided, and to be accountable and responsible for professional
nursing and allied health services.
The goal of an academic clinical practice is to provide a supportive
setting where patient care is optimized while supporting student education
and training, using expert faculty as clinical role models, conducting
clinical/patient-centered research and testing researchable findings
about the human condition in the practice setting.
Through the years, various grant-providing agencies have supported
the development of these centers, including the United States Public Health Service, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and others. This funding support continues today, however
with increased expectations that patient revenues sustain a center's
operations. Five key funding sources are used to keep the academic
clinical practice viable: fee-for-service, third-party reimbursement,
contracts, charities, and grants. KU HealthPartners (KUHP) supports itself through diversified
Unique in that it is a joint endeavor nursing and allied health center, KUHP offers health care services
at Silver City Health Center. KUHP supports the
service mission of the University of Kansas
beyond the traditional academic citizenship and is actively engaged with business partnerships that extend the presence
of the University within defined communities of interest serving the needs of Greater Kansas City and Kansans.
Distinguishing features of academic clinical practices include:
Placement of highly educated skilled faculty in real world clinical settings.
Faculty access to latest research findings generating researchable questions to advance clinical care.
Assistance of faculty in evidence-based standards development.
Academic excellence, fostered through student placement in relevant practice experiences.
Access to clinical, academic and organizational outcome data to support performance improvement.
Commitment to care for diverse patients in multiple care settings (public health clinics, neighborhood
centers, private practices, day care centers, and others).
Collaboration among multi-disciplinary faculty and content experts to enhance care delivery and patient