Learn how an updated team-based care model at Stanford Coordinated Care (SCC) shifted more responsibility to medical assistants (MAs) to improve both physician and overall practice efficiency.
As the health care industry continues to shift towards value-based reimbursement, team-based care has correspondingly increased in popularity. Team-based care allocates responsibilities among the care team to enhance patient care. Additionally, this model enriches value-based elements that are being incorporated into much of the patient care we see today. SCC had a team-based care model in place; however, additional action was needed to allow physicians to use their time more effectively.
Developing the Intervention
SCC utilizes medical assistant care coordinators to serve as cornerstones in their team-based care model. The medical assistant care coordinators are responsible for their own panel of patients for which they:
Perform routine health maintenance and chronic disease monitoring tests
Answer initial patient phone calls and emails
Scribe patient visits
Advise patients on action plans
All of these activities are completed by standing orders and protocols under the supervision of the physicians they work with.
By shifting the majority of these responsibilities to other team members, physicians are able to use their time more efficiently. For example, in many practices, physicians field their patients' phones calls and emails. This work often distracts physicians from direct, in-person patient care.
At SCC, MA care coordinators resolve many patient inquiries based on protocol or knowledge of the patient's case. Out-of-scope correspondence is then forwarded to their nurses, and finally, the physician handles the complex inquiries. This simple task incorporated into the clinic's team-based care workflow alleviates unnecessary work for physicians, allotting them more time for providing meaningful patient care.
While the clinic has been very successful in integrating its new model, one of the most notable accomplishments is their achievement of a Press Ganey® Likelihood to Recommend score in the 99th percentile for 19 of the last 20 months.
Stanford Coordinated Care (SCC) is a primary care practice that helps individuals with chronic or complex illnesses lead healthier lives and better navigate their health care experiences. The practice is in Palo Alto, CA.