AMA echoes AAHA findings concerning benefits of team-based health care

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently reiterated what the 2014 AAHA State of the Industry reported in March: that health care is greatly improved and practices are healthier when everyone is part of a tightly bonded team.

On June 9, the AMA announced its new policy to define physician-led team-based health care as "the consistent use by a physician of the leadership, knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to identify, engage, and elicit from each team member the unique set of training, experience, and qualifications needed to help patients achieve their goals, and to supervise the application of these skills."

This team-based approach was common among the fastest-growing animal hospitals identified by the 2014 AAHA State of the Industry, known as "Consistent Outgrowers," which featured strong veterinarian-staff bonds and were more likely to:

  • Set goals and measure progress.
  • Conduct daily rounds and staff stand-up meetings, to facilitate sharing and alignment.
  • Invest in practice management technology and improvements in work flow that make it easier for staff to do their jobs.
  • Commit team to higher standards, including AAHA accreditation.

The importance of a building cohesive practice teams has long been a cornerstone of AAHA accreditation, said Debbie Gadomski, RVT, AAHA national field operations manager.

"I think AAHA has made it very clear that we believe the practice team makes an invaluable contribution to veterinary medicine," Gadomski said.

She explained that AAHA accreditation standards contain more than 130 references to practice team members. The standards identify practice team members, outline their responsibilities relating to all elements of patient care and client service, and discuss their training, safety, and continuing education.

There is even a standard in the leadership section that addresses team philosophy and has the highest possible point value of 100, which "tells me our leadership is solidly behind the team concept," Gadomski said.