Date of Conferral
There is a growing need for healthcare teams within the Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system to effectively collaborate and communicate to improve patient outcomes. The need to improve patient care in the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) has been well established. The scholarly literature does not provide evidence whether using the primary care PACT model on communication and teamwork by an interdisciplinary medical team ameliorates these communication breakdowns. Bronstein's design for interdisciplinary collaboration provided the overarching framework for this study. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the use of the PACT model on communication and teamwork by an interdisciplinary medical team as well as the perceived processes and results that the interdisciplinary collaborative approach has on production data. 18 participants consisted of licensed medical professionals and other licensed and non-licensed support personnel who were part of the PACT team. There were several challenges associated with the model, such as (a) a lack of clearly defined roles, (b) lack of communication and collaboration, and (c) division between the clerical and medical staff that created a hostile work environment. Other participants felt there were benefits associated with the PACT model, included (a) improved communication between team members, (b) increased collaboration among team members, and (c) enhanced care for patients using a comprehensive team approach. These findings may help leaders create policies, improve patient care, and create perceived processes to affect successful long-term programs for the future implementation of the PACT model.