During this time of crisis, as emergency departments everywhere fight the onslaught of COVID-19 patients, the entire emergency medicine team—physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and others—have been courageous in their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

It is imperative that when lives are on the line the emergency department remains a physician-led team, respecting the unique training and experience each professional brings. At the same time, the lifting of certain bureaucratic restrictions in the areas hardest hit by the outbreak would enable the care team to more rapidly and effectively treat critical patients.

Therefore, ACOEP supports implementation of expedited credentialing and temporary flexibility in establishing delegation of privileges and supervision agreement in order for the emergency medicine team to more adequately adjust to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress this situation has placed on the healthcare system cannot be overstated and measures must be taken to enable the team to continue to function as well as possible.

“Our advance practice provider colleagues are a vital part of our team,” says ACOEP President Robert Suter, DO, FACOEP-D. “In many cases they are able to perform critical functions traditionally performed only by physicians. However, it is the position of ACOEP that to ensure that patients receive that best possible care any flexibility be balanced with the necessity for guidance and physician leadership.”

As emergency physicians, ACOEP members are proud to lead a team of highly-trained emergency medicine professionals. Nurse practitioners and physicians assistants are respected, integral components of the emergency department and central to our ability to treat patients.