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Team Culture Case Report: Brigham and Women's Advanced Primary Care Associates, South Huntington

When they had the opportunity to open a new practice, the planning team at Brigham and Women's Advanced Primary Care Associates, South Huntington in Jamaica Plain, MA, focused on building a practice that would evolve quickly.?They designed and built a practice meant to foster a team culture that is truly integrated, multi-disciplinary, patient-engaging, and continuously learning. Care team members were hired for their cultural fit. The planning team gauged the new hire's excitement about teamwork, transformation, and leading change in a patient-centered environment. This approach was selected to proactively build systems and a culture that got better with time and under stress, since trying to predict and prepare for the future is impossible.

Stuart Pollack, MD, Clinic Director, says, “Now that I have data that confirms that our new clinic works, I have been trying to figure out why it works. Let's face it—lots of practices are checking off the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) process lists, and many are not producing Triple Aim results (better quality, lower cost, better patient experience). I'm pretty sure it's not because of our processes, but because of our culture. I think it is about building teams that evolve and that maximize their collective intelligence.”

Dr. Pollack found that the collective intelligence of the teams he worked with was superior to that of any one person working alone. Co-locating the teams in shared offices, holding huddles before clinic sessions, and conducting warm handoffs encourage those short conversations that make the team so effective.

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