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Perm J. 2019;23. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18.147. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Function of the Medical Team Quarterback: Patient, Family, and Physician Perspectives on Team Care Coordination in Patient- and Family-Centered Primary Care.

Author information

1
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA.
2
X4Health, Washington, DC.
3
Centers for Quality and Patient Partnership in Healthcare, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA.
4
Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, Washington, DC.
5
MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, Seattle, WA.
6
IMPAQ International, Seattle, WA.
7
Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.
8
PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham, WA.
9
Institute for Better Medicine, Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
10
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Mountain View, CA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) literature is growing, but few reports present patient, caregiver, and practitioner perspectives about care coordination in a team-based model.

OBJECTIVE:

To understand the patient's, caregiver's, and physician's ideal forms of PFCC, we investigated the function of the medical team quarterback, who coordinates and advocates for appropriate care, and probed to understand how the quarterback works with a team to contribute to ideal PFCC.

DESIGN AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Nine focus groups with 92 participants were held in 3 major cities. Patients (n = 35) and family members (n = 36) were recruited through market research groups. Physicians (n = 21) were recruited by the American College of Physicians. Focus group transcripts were analyzed and coded using inductive analysis.

RESULTS:

The quarterback emerged as an important function for addressing care gaps and improving the care experience. We identified 6 themes articulated by participants that defined the role of a medical team quarterback: Overseeing care; coordinating diagnoses, tests, and treatments; advocating for patients; identifying and respecting patient values; proactively communicating; and solving problems. Patients and family members in our sample were open to different members of the care team acting as quarterback in coordination with the physician.

CONCLUSION:

Medical team quarterbacks were perceived as enhancing team-based care by facilitating the coordination/communication that is critical to PFCC. Patients and family members acknowledged that PFCC can be delivered by different members of the medical team if the care felt organized and coordinated with the primary care physician.

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