AHA looks at workforce role in delivering better primary care
January 25, 2013
A recent report from the AHA examines workforce trends in primary care and the role hospitals and health systems can play in effectively delivering primary care.
Developed by the AHA Primary Care Workforce Roundtable, the report includes recommendations and guiding principles to help stakeholders address primary care workforce issues and develop a more effective model of primary care delivery that encompasses the birth to end-of-life continuum.
“Hospitals can serve as conveners and enablers in primary care delivery,” said the report. It highlights results from the September 2011 roundtable, in which physician and nurse leaders discussed the impact of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” on the workforce and primary care.
The report said hospitals not only play a key role in transforming primary care, but also “are the “catalysts” to providing a sustainable infrastructure of care delivery. Hospital senior managers, especially the CEO, should be involved in valuedriven redesign, the report said.
“Hospitals should evolve from traditional ‘hospitals’ to ‘health systems,’ partnering with community organizations and patients in order to advance the community’s wellness and health needs,” the report noted.
Among best practices for accountability-based primary care, the AHA recommended the following:
Use culturally aware care coordinators to manage patient needs;
Clearly delineate roles for each team member but leave room for modification for population needs;
Collect primary care data on the whole team and not the practitioner;
Think of role-based, not taskbased, care delivery; and
Function in a team-based model with inter-disciplinary clinical learning teams.