AMA Urges Physicians to Take on a New Role: Team Leaders

June 6th, 2017 -

Traditionally, medicine was a “lone-wolf” profession, in which physicians treated patients individually, referring patients to other physicians and specialists only when necessary to treat a specific case. But medical advancements require more specialized services, and one provider can’t do it all. Add to that the pressure to move toward value-based care and bundled payments, and you’ll know why health systems are moving to a team-based model of care.

Now, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging physicians to not only embrace the healthcare team model but to lead it. This fall, the AMA adopted a policy recommending that physicians lead and participate in a team-based care model, saying “it can improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes, enhance care access, and slow the rate of medical spending while reducing burnout among health professionals.”

The new AMA policy opens the door for provider organizations to engage physicians in developing team-based care. The policy, drawn from an AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs report, explains that effective team players and leaders:

  • Understand the range of their own and other team members' skills, expertise, and roles in the patient's care;
  • Clearly articulate individual responsibilities and accountability;
  • Encourage insights from other members and be open to adopting them; and
  • Master broad teamwork skills.
The AMA policy also instructs physicians to “identify and constructively address barriers to effective collaboration”—something that HealthlinkNY is uniquely qualified to support.

“A team’s ability to coordinate care hinges on seamlessly sharing information and communicating with each other,” explains Christina Galanis, President & CEO of HealthlinkNY. “The HealthlinkNY Health Information Exchange allows information to flow where it is needed, when it is needed, so care team members have access to the most current and complete patient data. We also offer a secure communication channel of direct messaging between team members, and patient alerts to let teams know when their patient is admitted or discharged from an emergency department or inpatient hospitalization.”

In other words, HealthlinkNY is designed to support team-based integrated care across multiple provider settings. As Ms. Galanis says. “Provider organizations can improve care and efficiency by transforming their practice. If they have the will, then we have the way.”