The TCM Model
Providers are freed up to focus on patients, while nurses and MAs trained as Team Care Assistants (TCAs) are empowered to work at the full capacity of their licenses. With strategic patient visit schedules and the support of TCAs performing a number of additional exam room responsibilities (not simply serving as scribes), providers are able to spend less — but higher quality — time with each patient. The EHR is leveraged as an effective tool, leading to better communication and patient health outcomes.
The TCM Model has been shown to increase visits per day by 40% on a group-wide basis (and by 70% for some providers), generating a strong Year 1 ROI.
This process benefits everyone involved in patient care, from administrators, to providers, to clinical staff. And it gives patients timely, consistent access to a provider who knows them and a unified healthcare team, ultimately supporting the best elements of the medical home.
Patient Visit Timeline
- A clinical assistant rooms the patient and gathers some preliminary data, then leaves.
- The provider enters the exam room and performs all remaining activities themselves.
Back in the 1980′s and 1990′s this could work, but medicine today is much more complex and this model is restricting patient access to their known provider and is placing an unncessary strain on providers.
Efficient & Effective Care Delivery
TCM Patient Visit Timeline
- TCA rooms patient and remains in the room throughout the entire visit.
- TCA spends 5-15 minutes collecting all relevant preliminary medical data from the patient, including template driven questions about the chief complaint.
- The provider enters the exam room and the TCA presents all data collected to the provider verbally, in front of the patient. The provider then confirms, completes, verifies, and finalizes this data with the patient, allowing the patient to add or modify any information.
- The provider performs any appropriate physical exam and then develops their care plan for the patient. The TCA is capturing the results of these activities in the EHR for the provider.
- The provider then thanks the patient for coming in and leaves, heading to the next exam room. The TCA performs any needed patient education, then closes the visit.
Mechanics of Expanded Access
Access and provider productivity are improved as the provider goes from room to room executing steps 3 and 4 in the previous diagram. When the provider is done with patient 1, the provider goes to exam room 2 where TCA 2 has prepared their patient and the process repeats. This process:
- improves patient access
- maximizes the efficiency of the provider
- allows the provider to focus entirely on the patient