Team Approach Improves Practice Efficiency

For team-based care to succeed, physicians must be willing to delegate

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing administrative requirements of a medical practice are requiring a team-based approach to care, and physicians must learn to manage the team, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

Multiple staff members are needed to manage the many aspects of a patient's needs, and all team members skills should be complementary. Staff tasks can be based on both skill and an individual's personality. Physicians must be willing to delegate some responsibilities, including non-clinical paperwork and even some patient interactions like refilling prescriptions and reporting negative test results. Other staff, including health coaches, can assist physicians in aiding patient adherence to prescriptions.

According to Medical Economics, decisions regarding the delegation plan will vary by practice, but overall, delegation will improve practice efficiency and save physicians time. By trusting the team approach, physicians can focus on their long-term strategies and patient engagement. Experts suggest physicians remove themselves from the financial aspects of the practice. Trained business office staff can handle financial discussions with patients. Some team members may be new hires, like pharmacists and health coaches. But cross-training of medical assistants and front desk staff aids in creating the team.

"Not jumping to conclusions and understanding what an employee needs to be successful can be really helpful in creating great relationships with colleagues and achieving practice goals," says Laura Palmer, a senior industry analyst for the Medical Group Management Association, according to the article.

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