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Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight: Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service

Inpatient Ortho/Spine Service Team

At Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, advanced practice providers (APPs) include nurse practitioners and physician assistants who play an integral role in patient care.

For patients who have orthopaedic surgery or spine surgery at BWFH, a team of eight full-time and two per diem APPs on the Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service help coordinate the admission and discharge processes. APPs also conduct orthopaedic consults throughout the hospital. Led by Chief NP Katie Killinger, MSN, RN, CNP, the team is involved in direct patient care, as well as developing and refining best practices and staff and patient education.

Find out more about what the Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service has been working on!

Commitment to Innovation

The APPs on the Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service have played a key role in supporting the transition to same day joint arthroplasty. In fact, their work will soon be shared at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Conference in New Orleans in June.

Commitment to Continuity of Care

As orthopaedic providers, BWFH’s Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service APPs are the first line to recognize osteoporosis. As a result, the Fracture Liaison Service was launched to decrease the risk of subsequent fractures in patients with recent fragility fractures, which now includes over 550 patients in their database.

Patients see their APP when they are in the hospital and receive their osteoporosis diagnosis based on the testing the APP orders. Later, they see the same provider in the outpatient clinic who helps them reduce their risk of future fractures.  “The practice has grown to inpatient e-consults and we’ve added another provider to accommodate the growing demand,” says Samantha Erikson, MSN, RN, CNP, who runs the service.

Commitment to Sharing Best Practices

BWFH’s Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service also offers a Spine Education Service to help nurses better understand the unique care required by spine surgery patients. In her role as Spine Liaison, Jill Martin, MSN, RN, CNP, gives PowerPoint presentations; puts together monthly emails with education updates, practice changes and policy updates; collaborates with the spine surgeons to facilitate educational presentations; and organizes the operating room observation schedule and arranges for intra-operative hands-on experience for her APP team members.

“If a case or consult arises that we haven’t seen before, I’ll do a case study, write it up and distribute it to the team,” explains Martin. “I also work to keep the team up to date on the latest research related to the spine procedures we already do.”

Commitment to Professional Development

In addition to providing educational opportunities for others, members of BWFH’s Inpatient Orthopaedic/Spine Service also value their own professional development. In fact, several members of the team are working toward earning certification in orthopaedics and one, Katie Kane, MSN, RN, ONP-C, has already earned it.

“I chose to take the Orthopaedic Nurse Practitioner certification examination to further strengthen my clinical skills and to increase my competency in this specialty,” says Kane.

Now that she has earned her certification, Kane is encouraging of her colleagues working toward the same goal. “I highly encourage both RNs and NPs in orthopaedics to become certified to further promote professional development and clinical practice. It not only has increased my self-confidence in taking care of this patient population, but has additionally supported my commitment to lifelong learning.”

Want to keep up with all things related to Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s advanced practice providers? Check out the APP Affair newsletter!


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