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Making the most of limited resources through relational climate: A study of primary care clinic

Mohr DC, Benzer JK, Young GJ. Making the most of limited resources through relational climate: A study of primary care clinic. Presented at: Academy of Management Annual Meeting; 2012 Aug 5; Boston, MA.

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Primary care providers are increasingly under pressure to do more with fewer resources. We examined the effect of workload on patient quality of care, measured through approximately 44,000 patient experience surveys in a sample of 222 primary care clinics in the Veterans Health Administration. We tested the extent to which relational climate, a measure of teamwork, moderated the relationship between workload and patient quality of care. Our outcome measures included patient complaints, time spent with provider, and overall visit quality. Workload was negatively associated with patient quality of care ratings and relational climate moderated the relation between workload and quality of care. Patients seen in clinics with higher workload and greater relational climate reported better care compared to patients in clinics with higher workload but lower relational climate. Findings highlight the importance of relational climate as an important teamwork factor when managing and developing clinic policies, practices, and procedures in resource-constrained settings.

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