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Authors

  1. Vimalananda, Varsha G. MD, MPH
  2. Dvorin, Kelly PsyD
  3. Fincke, B. Graeme MD
  4. Tardiff, Nicole MS
  5. Bokhour, Barbara G. PhD

Abstract

Successful coordination of specialty care requires understanding the perspectives of patients, primary care providers, and specialists-that is, the specialty care "triad." This study used qualitative methods to compare these perspectives in an integrated health care system, using diabetes specialty care as an exemplar. Primary care providers and endocrinologists relied on interclinician relationships to coordinate care. Clinicians rarely included patients or other staff in their conceptualization of specialty care coordination. Patients often assumed responsibility for specialty care coordination but struggled to succeed. We identified several opportunities to improve coordination across the triad. In an integrated medical system, the shared organizational structure can facilitate these efforts.