Cost effective team-based care involves multiple professionals all working at the “top of license”

Many experts noted that the relative lack of inter-professional collaboration is also the source of great inefficiency in an overburdened healthcare system. Countless professionals are not working at their highest level of expertise, and in many cases, they are trying to play roles that would better fit the expertise of another. For example, a physician, lacking a collaborator, might be tasked with trying to motivate and counsel a patient as part of an intensive lifestyle intervention, even though a behavior specialist might be a better, more appropriate provider of that intervention. The detriment, in a case like this, is threefold: 1) the physician is expected to spend time working in an area where they may not have the ideal expertise, 2) the behavioral specialist is not connected to the very patient who needs that support and expert attention, and 3) the patient receives suboptimal care both because they do not receive expert behavioral support and their physician’s time is divided. In an optimal health system, each professional would be working from the top of their expertise, and all of the collaborating professionals have an effective system of communication so that no aspect of the patient’s experience gets lost among them.