Dr. Nicole Nitti
Throughout her career as a family and emergency physician, Dr. Nicole Nitti has seen first-hand many significant changes in primary care. One of the most notable has been the increase in the scope of care that family doctors have assumed responsibility for, even though they are working well beyond their capacity.
“Certainly, I was expecting baby care, prenatal, episodic care, and even chronic disease management, but now the complexity of care I provide includes assessing for attention deficit disorder in adults and transitioning transgender patients. Because of the lack of specialized care in these areas, it comes to me,” says Dr. Nitti.
“As a family physician, I’ve had to broaden my knowledge and skill set to meet that need.”
Without family doctors like Dr. Nitti stepping in and expanding their scope of practice to provide this vital care, it would leave patients without the support they need.
Over the years, there have been process improvements that have been implemented to enhance physicians’ workflow, including electronic medical records (EMRs), and expanding duties for pharmacists. Although Dr. Nitti notes that paperwork and administrative work will always be part of her job, much of the added burden stems from authorizing limited use codes, following up on referral requests and navigating the complex challenges of the EMRs.
“EMRs have contributed to quality of care, but we really need to look at how we can allow family physicians to offload work through them.”
Since the beginning of her career, what has remained the same for Dr. Nitti is the sense of joy that comes from caring for her patients and the privilege of watching her patients recover.
“Patients come in looking for help and it’s not necessarily a quick fix, but overtime when you see someone recover, it feels so good.”