The main function of the allied health professional in the teamlet model. The allied health professional can be a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical pharmacist, or speech therapist. They also have a "teamlet" with interdisciplinary team members who work together to provide comprehensive care for patients.
The function of Allied Health Professional in Teamlet Model
The function of the allied health professional is to support primary care providers (PCPs) and act as independent practitioners for patients. They provide care mainly outside the patient's home, but they may also work with PCPs through different models (e.g., traditional practice model where patients are followed closely by a single clinician, team model with several clinicians from different disciplines for patients with complex needs).
In the teamlet model, PCPs and allied health professionals work together within a group or "teamlet" to provide patient care. In this integrated system, the primary care provider leads all of the assessments and designs a treatment plan that includes referrals to other medical providers as needed. The allied health professional works closely with the PCP and helps manage or assess their patients' progress through therapy coordination or medication management services.
For example, a physical therapist could be part of a doctor's office to help rehabilitation efforts in patients after an injury. A registered nurse may work at a clinic to help monitor people's health conditions in between visits with the PCP. These are just some examples of how allied health professionals can be incorporated into a practice.
The teamlet model is used in place of the traditional, single clinician model where patients are followed closely by one clinician. In this case, instead of having just one person taking care of their needs, patients have multiple people from different disciplines to help meet their complex needs. The team model may also be paired with virtual or telephone visits between clinicians and patients. PCPs lead all assessments in the teamlet model and manage most aspects of patient care- they determine which services will best meet their patient's needs, formulate treatment plans for these services, and make referrals to other medical providers as needed. Allied health professionals in this model serve as clinicians and focus mainly on providing coordination and/or monitoring for patients with complex care needs.
For example, a person who uses a wheelchair may need to see an orthopedic specialist and a registered nurse at the same time for rehabilitation efforts. The PCP would contact the orthopedic clinic to schedule the appointment, but it is up to the nurse, who works in tandem with the PCP in this teamlet system, to schedule (and possibly attend) the appointment with their patient. This way, both providers can keep track of each other's patients' progress without having them wait too long between appointments.
The allied health professional serves as an important link inpatient care because they can devote more time and attention to specific services than the PCP. They do not have as much patient volume as a large clinic or hospital, so they can provide personalized attention that patients with complex needs need.