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Developing a Foundation for Team-based Care Measures in Primary Care

In 2012, Abt Global was awarded a two-year contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to identify and outline the conceptual underpinnings of team-based primary care, which must be completed before measures of team-based primary care can be explored, developed and validated. This project served as a starting point for future work in the area of team-based care measures.

Abt’s primary goals in this project included:
  1. Developing a framework to measure the success of team-based care by completing a review of the literature and engaging an expert panel;
  2. Identifying and assess existing measures of team-based care;
  3. Creating a web-based atlas of measures for evaluation, research, and quality improvement in team-based care; and
  4. Developing a plan for next steps: refine and test existing instruments, identify gaps in team-based measures, set priorities and directions for development of new measures to address gaps.
Team-based care holds promise to improve patient outcomes, care processes – such as better coordination of care – and patient and provider experiences of care. However, the field lacks a strong theoretical conceptual framework and validated measures specific to the primary care setting that can be used for research, evaluation, and quality improvement purposes. Existing tools that measure team-based care often focus on settings other than primary care, do not take patient experience into account, are not backed by theories, or lack demonstration of adequate psychometric characteristics.

Comprehensive and coordinated team-based care is a facet of many models of primary care transformation, including the patient-centered medical home. Thus, developing a measure for team-based care appropriate for the primary care setting is of utmost importance in order to evaluate and improve team functioning, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.
North America