University of Utah Community Clinics - Medical Assistant Teams Enhance Patient-Centered, Physician-Efficient Care


Lisel Blash, Catherine Dower, Susan A. Chapman

Apr 2011

The University of Utah Community Clinics’ success in achieving a remarkable financial turnaround empowered the organization to innovate further in order to improve the patient experience. The organization implemented a team-based model of care that increased the ratio of medical assistants (MAs) per provider to 5:2 and expanded MA roles, further enhancing the organization’s clinical and financial outcomes, and improving staff, provider, and patient satisfaction. 

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 as part of its Pioneer Employers Initiative.