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A better way to staff your care team. (Hint: It doesn't involve ratios.)

March 11, 2020

    One of the most common questions physician executives ask us is: "How many (insert care team member) should I staff on my care teams?" The truth is, there's no magic number of care team members. And adjusting staffing ratios for one role at a time can limit ROI and exacerbate staff turnover.

    Primary Care Team Task Allocation Guide: Audit and optimize your care team

    An all too familiar care team redesign story

    It all starts with staffing changes to address physician burnout. Groups offload tasks from the physician's plate onto advanced practice providers (APPs). But in reality, these actions set a trickle-down effect in motion. Because, when APPs start feeling strained too, tasks are offloaded to nurses, and this task shifting continues down the line.

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    The result? Physicians aren't necessarily any better off. Tasks are assigned with only a piece of the care team in mind—so gaps and redundancies are accidentally built into the model. Ultimately, this leads to confusion about how many staff members you need on the care team and frustrated team members working below top-of-license.

    A better approach: holistic care team redesign

    To build a model that's sustainable for the future, medical groups need to design the care team holistically so that it works for both physicians and the rest of the team. This requires a shift in mindset from viewing the care team as a set of individual roles to a single cohesive unit.

    Rather than piloting changes or adjusting ratios for one team member at a time, medical groups must redesign the care team in its entirety to ensure that everyone is working at top-of-license and as one high-performing team.

    How to start holistic redesign at your medical group

    In practice, this means looking at all tasks a care team needs to perform all at once, and then matching them to the team member best suited for that work, taking into account criteria like skillset, licensure, or group strategy. The key is completing this exercise for the entire team at once and then rolling out new roles—again, all at once.

    This holistic approach to redesign often surfaces redundancies and inefficiencies in the care team that you never would've recognized using a trickle-down approach. For example, one medical group we spoke with who used this holistic approach was able to hire a new scheduler in place of a new RN, resulting in about $35,000 in labor savings.

    Save time (and money) with our new tool

    Redesigning the care team in this way can be a time-consuming process, which is why we created a tool to help save you time and money as you reassign tasks across the care team.

    The Primary Care Team Task Allocation Guide is an Excel-based tool that helps physician leaders and their teams assign the top 60 tasks in primary care. Use this tool to accelerate the redesign process and mitigate care team turnover at your medical group.

    Get the Guide

    Learn more: Get the full value from your APPs

    A scalable APP model has four components. Each component plays a critical role in ensuring the harmonious use of APPs within your medical group. Download our new infographic to learn the four must-have characteristics of a scalable model for NPs and PAs.

    Download Now

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