In many practices, physicians take on administrative responsibilities that may distract them from patient care—the physician-led team-based care model can help. As health care continues the shift toward value-based care, this new model of care has increased in popularity. Find out how Stanford Coordinated Care pushed their team-based care model a little bit further.

Stanford Coordinated Care took their team-based care model one step further than traditional models by making medical assistant (MA) care coordinators a central part of the team.

These MAs work closely with patients to resolve many inquiries based on protocol or knowledge of the patients’ individual cases. Out-of-scope issues are forwarded to the nurses and finally, the physician handles any complex inquiries.


The Stanford MA care coordinators are each responsible for their own panel of patients and complete several vital tasks for the clinic’s work flow, including:

  • Refilling medications
  • Performing routine health maintenance and chronic disease monitoring tests
  • Answering initial patient phone calls and emails
  • Scribing patient visits
  • Advising patients on action plans
  • Acquiring authorizations
  • Facilitating referrals

All of these expanded activities are completed by standing orders and protocols under the close supervision of the physicians on the team. Incorporating these simple tasks into the clinic’s already successful team-based work flow streamlines unnecessary work so physicians have more time to interact with their patients.

By shifting the majority of the administrative responsibilities from physicians to other team members, Stanford’s physicians are able to use their time more efficiently.

A new module from the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies can help your practice implement team-based care. The module details the individual elements of a team-based care model and shows you how to bring all of those elements together.

More than 25 modules are available in the AMA’s STEPS Forward collection, and several more will be added later this year, thanks to a grant from and collaboration with the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative.

Static Up
Featured Stories