Staff Perceptions of Implementation of a Team-Based Model of Patient-Centered Primary Care

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Sherri L LaVela
Jennifer N Hill


Objectives. Patient-Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) aim to reorganize primary care by putting the patient at the center of the care team that includes family and health care staff; embodying patient-centered care (PCC). Team members share information, and work together in a synergistic, supportive way to provide optimal care based on mutually negotiated goals to meet patient needs. Our objective was to evaluate the process, barriers, and facilitators to implementing PACT as part of a VA quality improvement effort.Study Design/Methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed verbatim and analyzed with constant comparative techniques using constructs from implementation and organizational frameworks. Respondent demographic and position-level data were also collected. Data were collected in 2013.Results. A purposive sample of 35 key leaders and staff involved in implementing and/or participating in PACT at VA facilities participated. Implementation barriers included: failure to gain staff buy-in for PACT early on and to alleviate existing concerns about time and resources, incongruent performance measurement, and lack of defined role/responsibilities. Implementation facilitators included: training and engaging staff in PCC delivery and support for team-building.Conclusions. Team-based approaches to care have strong literature support; less is known about implementation. This study provides insight into the implementation of team-based care. Implementation of a team-based care model should include staff preparation and support (awareness, education, and encouragement) in advance. Once implemented, continued attention to team-building efforts and staff engagement are needed for sustainability. Healthcare organizations must understand and address multiple organizational factors to successfully implement team-based care that leads to systemic and sustainable PCC delivery.

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