DFD Russell Medical Centers--Engaging Medical Assistants in Quality Improvement Efforts


Lisel Blash, Susan A. Chapman, Catherine Dower

June 28, 2011

DFD Russell Medical Centers in rural central Maine involve medical assistants in quality improvement efforts through a) engaging them in small scale testing and refinement of practice improvements (PDSAs), b) providing them with periodic reports on quality measures directly related to their individual performance, and c) annual individual-level bonuses for achieving quality goals in patient care. MA team leaders assist in coaching MAs to follow protocols and meet quality standards.

This 2014 summary updates the original 2011 case study with new information on staffing, clinical outcomes, reimbursement, and more. 

Innovative Workforce Models of Health Care is a series of case studies showcasing primary care practices that are expanding the roles of medical assistants and other frontline workers in innovative ways. The organizations selected are implementing practice models that improve organizational viability and quality of care for patients while providing career development opportunities to frontline employees. This research is supported by the The Hitachi Foundation.