Urge acceptance of support. The complexity of patient care today makes it difficult for a physician to manage all of a patient’s needs single-handedly. Complexity arises from the variety of plan co-pays and deductibles, the number of patients with chronic diseases, and the increased emphasis on improving quality measures.18 Enhanced support during any office visit and the extra support of an ECT for complex patients improves the ability of the physician to more effectively meet the needs of the patient.
Emphasize the benefit of an empowered team. The demands of the EHR on physicians and the resultant frustrations are well chronicled.4,19-22 Strategically delegating much of this work to other team members allows the physician to focus on the patient and perform physician-level work. At Bellin, we observed that our most successful care teams were those in which the physician fully accepted team-based care principles and empowered the staff to work at the top of their skill set.
Advanced practice clinicians
APCs in our system had traditionally practiced in 1 of 3 ways: independently handling defined panels with physician supervision; handling overflow or acute visits; or working collaboratively with a supervising physician to share a larger “team panel.” The third approach has become our preferred model. aTBC provides opportunities for APCs to thrive and collaborate with the physician to provide excellent care for patients.
APCs underwent the same process changes as physicians, including appropriate CTC support. Implementation strategies for APCs were similar to those that were useful for physicians.
Risk management professionals
At Bellin, we found that risk-management professionals had concerns about the scope of practice assigned to various team members, particularly regarding documentation. CMS allows for elements of a patient visit to be documented by CMAs and other members of the care team in real time as authorized by the physician.23,24 CTCs at Bellin also have other clinical duties in patient and EHR management. aTBC practices generally prefer the term team documentation over scribing, since it more accurately reflects the scope of the CTC’s work.
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