AHA: Care teams gain traction at hospitals

A new survey from the American Hospital Association finds that most hospitals are implementing team-based care--nearly 75 percent, with 62 percent training to do so.

The survey on workforce planning, conducted in March, showed nearly half of hospitals surveyed are implementing care teams throughout their facilities. Common roles include registered nurses, physicians, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists/dieticians and physical therapists, according to AHA News Now.

Moreover, multidisciplinary care teams are key roles hospitals and health systems can use to effectively deliver primary care, AHA noted.

A January report from the AHA Primary Care Workforce roundtable also helped lead the hospital group to this conclusion. "Hospitals can serve as conveners and enablers in primary care delivery," AHA said in that report showcasing results from a September 2011 AHA Primary Care Workforce Roundtable in which physician and nurse leaders discussed the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the workforce and primary care, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Hospitals play an important role in transforming primary care, and managers at hospitals should be involved in value-driven redesign, AHA has previously noted. Necessity breeds invention, especially in rural areas where workforce shortages are acute, so there's always room for hospitals to innovate.

The survey findings come amid healthcare's "dirty little secret" about coordinated care: No one is responsible for it and it's not very well coordinated, according to Lucian Leape, M.D., a Harvard health policy analyst and a nationally recognized patient safety leader in a report from Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post.

And care teams do achieve their goals, but physicans need more help than they can get when it comes to knowing how to transform into a team-based care model.

To learn more:
- read the AHA News Now brief

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