Applied Evidence

Advanced team-based care: How we made it work

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Post-visit. After a physician leaves a room, the CTC was now charged with finishing the pending orders, setting up the patient’s next appointment and pre-visit labs, reviewing details of the after-visit summary, and doing any basic health coaching with the patient. During this time, the physician would use the co-location space to review and edit the documentation, cosign the orders and prescriptions submitted by the CTC, and close the chart before going into the next room with the second CTC. The need to revisit these details after clinic hours was eliminated.

Another change … The role of our phone triage registered nurses (RN) was expanded. Care team RNs began providing diabetes counseling, blood pressure checks, annual wellness visits (AWV), and follow-up through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)'s Chronic Care Management and Transitional Care Management programs.

■ Part 2: Redesign between-visit in-basket management

Responding to an increasing number of inbox messages had become overwhelming for our physicians. Bellin Health’s management was aware that strategic delegation of inbox messages could save an hour or more of a physician’s time each day.14 Bellin implemented a procedure whereby inbox test results would be handled by the same CTC who saw the patient, thereby extending continuity. If the results were normal, the CTC would contact the patient. If the results were abnormal, the physician and the CTC would discuss them and develop a plan. Co-location of the RN, the CTC, and the physician would leverage face-to-face communication and make in-basket management more efficient.

■ Part 3: Redesign population health management

We developed an Extended Care Team (ECT), including social workers, clinical pharmacists, RN care coordinators, and diabetes educators, to assist with the care of patients with high-risk disorders or otherwise complex issues. These team members would work closely with the CTC, care team RN, and physician to review patients, develop plans of care, optimize management, and improve outcomes. Patients would be identified as candidates for potential ECT involvement based on the physician’s judgment in consultation with an EHR-based risk score for hospitalization or emergency department visit.

Team coordinators document details of the patient visit, thereby allowing the physician to focus directly on the patient.

As we developed new processes, such as screening for determinants of health, we engaged additional system and community resources to help meet the needs of our patients.

Continue to: A look at stakeholder concerns and overcoming the barriers

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