How Teams Work-Or Don't-In Primary Care: A Field Study On Internal Medicine Practices

American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 05/2010; 29(5):874-9. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.1093
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We conducted a field study in three primary care practices representing different practice types: a solo practice; a certified patient-centered medical home; and a multiphysician, multispecialty practice connected to a local university. All three practices shared a common culture in the way that practice members related to each other. In each instance, the practice team operated in separate social "silos," isolating physicians from each other and from the rest of the practice staff. We concluded that current practice structures are primarily focused on supporting physicians' hectic routines and have trouble accommodating the diversity of patients' needs. For practices to succeed in managing diverse patients and in helping them understand and manage their own health, it will be critical to break down the silos and organize teams with shared roles and responsibilities.