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Virtual integrated primary care teams: Recommendations for team-based care.
Mitzel LD, Funderburk JS, Buckheit KA, Gass JC, Shepardson RL, Edelman D. Virtual integrated primary care teams: Recommendations for team-based care. Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare. 2021 Dec 1; 39(4):638-643.
Integrated primary care teams are increasingly relying upon virtual care, including both telehealth and team members who are teleworking, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift to virtual care can present challenges for the coordination and provision of team-based care in primary care. The current report uses extant literature on teams to provide recommendations to support integrated primary care teams, including behavioral health providers, in adapting to and sustaining virtual team-based care.
We used the Seven C's framework by Salas and colleagues (2015) to organize our findings and recommendations, focusing on coordination, cooperation, cognition, and communication.
Integrated primary care teams may benefit from tending to both implicit and explicit forms of coordination and the use of debriefs to improve team coordination. Given the potential challenge of trust in a virtual team, documentation of care coordination and reexamination of how feedback is provided to primary care providers may benefit team cooperation. Sharing team goals and crosstraining on specific aspects of team processes, such as communicating essential information to behavioral health providers for a warm handoff, may improve the cognition of the team. Teams may also benefit by findings ways to incorporate informal communication into the workflow and using closed-loop communication to decrease missed communications.
This report provides initial recommendations based on extant team literature to support integrated primary care teams in adapting to virtual care. Future work should build off this report by examining virtual integrated primary care teams and providing evidence-based recommendations to optimize virtual care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).