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Multidisciplinary process improvement teams as drivers of improvement and culture change in primary care.

Team-based care and quality improvement are the bedrock of primary care transformation. This project uses teams composed of interdisciplinary frontline staff and patient partners to successfully improve clinic processes, while also helping people develop sophisticated communication and analytic skills needed for learning and positive change. The magic of the group is two-fold. The interdisciplinary staff and patient representation ensures that the implications of projects are deeply understood from diverse perspectives, negative unintended consequences are minimized, processes are tailored specifically to our clinic, and implementation is accelerated because of ownership of participants. Additionally the team becomes a laboratory for learning the skills of nuanced communication and dialogue, critical thinking, and working in a non-hierarchical fashion that effectively harvests the collective wisdom of diverse perspectives. Team members spread these changes throughout the clinic, helping drive culture change to a highly participatory, psychologically safe, and non-hierarchical work environment.