Scope of Practice

Take these steps toward team care, better practice environment

Sara Berg, MS , News Editor

A team-based approach to health care can relieve physicians of tasks that often drain joy from practice, while also improving patient care through workflow improvements. When stories showed how physicians and health care organizations worked together to improve their workflow and the quality of patient care, they hit home for physicians and their teams.

From clinic revamps to team-based care, physicians enjoyed learning how practices improved patient care and eliminated administrative burdens. Here are five of the most popular and relevant practice improvement stories covered by AMA Wire® in 2017.  

N.Y. clinic revamps space for better workflow, patient experience. Leaders at Gouverneur Health, part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., knew there must be a better way for its two primary care practices to use their current clinic space. The practice teams had few places to interact, which impeded their ability to get work done and added to long wait times for the 250 patients seen daily.

4 reasons why health coaching works. The use of health coaches in a physician-led, team-based care model has been shown to help improve outcomes for patients with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. One multispecialty practice explains how they implemented the idea and the critical ways these new team members advance care.

Make the most out of meetings to improve practice teamwork. Regularly held, properly run team meetings can help physician practices solve workflow problems, build camaraderie and improve patient care. A group of internal medicine practices in Boston explains how it has used effective team meetings to achieve these goals and more.

Teamwork, empathic approach help clinic double vaccination rate. A bit of the human touch, when combined with process redesigns, has helped an Oak Park, Illinois, practice implement an adult immunization program that has led to doubling its vaccination rate. When a physician recommends vaccination, some patients might choose to ignore the advice. With vaccine-preventable diseases more common in adults than in children, it is essential that physician practices take a team-based approach to the problem.

How 2 practices give mental health care a primary care home. With a nationwide shortage of nearly 3,400 psychiatrists to meet the country’s mental health care needs, one emerging viable remedy is a model that incorporates the diagnosis and treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety into primary care practice.