Part 1: Why Bother
Because it works. The evidence is beginning to build now that team-based medical practices around the country are seeing and reporting their results. As early as 2011, the Annals of Family Medicine reported that team-based medical care reduced physician burnout and brought staff satisfaction back to the practices.
One extremely important goal of team-based care is to use all clinicians, behavioral health specialists, nurses, medical assistants, and administrative staff to the highest level of their training. This core value of team care not only relieves the physician(s) from carrying the entire burden of patient care, it shares the success and satisfaction of a job well done with everyone.
Changing the way a practice behaves is a major undertaking that requires both time and planning. Standing orders and protocols must be established for clinical staff. Administrative staff must be trained to be proactive with patients in their phone and face-to-face interactions. Identifying opportunities for preventive care such as scheduling appointments for screenings and immunizations is critical to the process of achieving wellness in the patient population.
Team-based care is not only better for patients in terms of clinical outcomes, it fosters collaboration and cooperation in the practice staff as everyone aligns around the process. In future blogs we’ll talk about the benefits to patients and how to get started on the journey to being a team-based practice.