What is it about?

A group of leaders in the psychiatry department of a large Boston hospital decided to try a team-based approach for treating patients with mental health conditions. Each team had a full-time psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse practitioner, social worker, and medical assistant, and the model was based off of teams in primary care and community mental health practices. This new model was able to decrease wait times and increase coordination of care for patients, while remaining financially viable.

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Why is it important?

More and more Americans are struggling with mental health problems, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be very difficult to access high-quality and timely mental health treatment, and many mental health clinicians themselves struggle to provide the type care they would like to within the current system. Important tasks like care coordination (discussing patient care between team members) are not paid for by insurance companies. Innovative models of care such as this one must be explored in order to meet the large and growing need.


Team-based care has been used for many years in other settings. One of the contributions of this paper is in discussing the unique challenges of adapting a new model within an academic medical center, and the strategies and tips that helped this initiative succeed.

Justin Chen
Massachusetts General Hospital

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Implementing Multidisciplinary, Team-Based Care in an Academic Outpatient Psychiatry Department, Psychiatric Services, April 2022, American Psychiatric Association, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.202200030.
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