Team Approach To Health Care Means New Role For Doctors

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Team Approach To Health Care Means New Role For Doctors (Huffington Post)

In this collaborative piece from Stateline and Politico, the shift towards a more team-based approach to primary care is discussed. “Doctors increasingly oversee care plans that are executed by a team, from nurses who sit down with patients to discuss diet and exercise to clinical pharmacists who monitor a patient’s medication….the configuration has cut the amount of time patients spend talking to their doctor and allowed doctors to see more patients each day.”

The article notes that in America’s traditional healthcare system, a lack of coordinated care and the fee-for-service payment approach have resulted rising costs without much measurable improvement in the overall health of the nation. But “new payment models encourage health systems to deploy their workers more efficiently — while also avoiding unnecessary services and costly errors...Distributing work across team members can help keep costs down, relieve doctors of the busywork that jams up their day, and make everyone more productive.”

While the team approach sounds good on paper and many medical schools and physicians assistant organizations support this shift, the American Medical Association (and other medical organizations) “have pushed back against proposals to expand the medical decisions non-doctors are able to make on their own” and encourage health professionals to make sure their “scope of practice” is being appropriately observed. The article goes on to highlight practices that are choosing to move towards a team based approach, and others that continue to provide a more traditional approach to family medicine.

With a goal to be in the top 10 percent of states for healthcare quality and patient experience, Delaware is also taking steps to transform healthcare delivery into a more integrated, team-based, and patient-focused system across all of its providers. The Delaware Center for Health Innovation’s Clinical Committee is designed to assist clinical practices in achieving greater efficiencies and improved outcomes for patients, and both coordinated care and the integration of primary care and behavioral health are among its core focus areas. For more information about how DCHI and the Clinical Commitee are supporting clinical staff with practice transformation, please visit us at

Articles posted do not reflect the views or opinion of DCHI, but are meant to foster meaningful discussion about the opportunities and challenges driving healthcare reform.  

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