Team-based care: an expanded medical assistant role–enhanced rooming and visit assistance

Peter G Harper, Kristi Van Riper, Timothy J Ramer, Andrew H Slattengren, Pita Adam, Angela J Smithson, Cherilyn Wicks, Casey S Martin, Michael R Wootten, Samantha Carlson, Elizabeth Miller, Christopher J Fallert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Primary care practices face significant challenges as they pursue the Quadruple Aim. Redistributing care across the interprofessional primary care team by expanding the role of the medical assistant (MA) is a potential strategy to address these challenges. Two sequential, linked processes to expand the role of the MA, called Enhanced Rooming and Visit Assistance, were implemented in four family medicine residency clinics in Minnesota. In Enhanced Rooming, MAs addressed preventive services, obtained a preliminary visit agenda, and completed a warm hand-off to the provider. In Visit Assistance, MAs stayed in the room the entire visit to assist with the visit workflow. Enhanced Rooming and Visit Assistance processes were successfully implemented and sustained for over one year. MAs and providers were satisfied with both processes, and patients accepted the expanded MA roles. Mammogram ordering rates increased from 10% to 25% (p < 0.0001). After Visit Summary (AVS) print rates increased by 12% (p < 0.0001). Visit Turn-Around-Time (TAT) decreased 3.1 minutes per visit (p = 0.0001). Expanding the MA role in a primary care interprofessional team is feasible and a potentially useful tool to address the Quadruple Aim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of interprofessional care
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Medical assistant
  • interprofessional team
  • preventive services
  • provider burn-out
  • quadruple aim
  • team-based care
  • visit turn-around-time

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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