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Dec 13 2023

BIHE Monthly Seminar – Diversity in Primary Care Teams and Implications for Patient Outcomes

BIHE Monthly Seminar

December 13, 2023

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM




Chicago, IL 60612

Abstract: We sought to examine  relationships amongst demographic diversity, role diversity, and disparities in patients’ health outcomes.  6,098 primary care Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) at 152 VHA Medical Centers and their respective patient panels were examined during two observation periods (November-December 2019, April-May 2020). Demographic and professional data were extracted from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Reengineered Primary Care Management Module. Database review of demographic characteristics and staffing configurations among primary care teams, team performance, and clinical outcomes of respective patient panels.  Clinical outcomes were extracted from VHA’s Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW), electronic quality measures, and the PACT Compass. Team-member roles were extracted from VHA’s Primary Care Almanac Team Assignments report and demographics extracted from VHA’s employee data cube. We calculated Blau indices to estimate demographic (i.e., race/ethnicity, gender) and professional role diversity of PACTs. Multilevel modeling predicted health outcomes (i.e., Emergency Department utilization, hypertension control, and diabetes management) from PACT roles and demographics. Facility-level, demographic diversity was associated with lower ED utilization rates, B = -48.20, p < .01. Conversely, greater demographic diversity amongst teams predicted higher ED utilization rates, B = 3.96, p = .05. Considering demographic diversity of teams and patient panels, greater professional role diversity amongst teams predicted lower ED utilization rates, B = -7.96, p = .03. Greater facility- and team-level demographic diversity predicted improved hypertension control when accounting for the diversity of patient panels (B = 17.79, p < .01 and B = 1.39, p = .04, respectively). Facility-level professional role diversity predicted lower diabetes mismanagement when controlling for demographic diversity of teams and patient panel, B = -26.64, p = .04.  In conclusion, demographic and professional diversity helps healthcare teams build knowledge base that can lead to improved performance and quality outcomes for patients.

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, College of Medicine, and College of Applied Health Sciences.



Connie Ping

Date posted

Dec 4, 2023

Date updated

Dec 5, 2023


Dr. Ashley Hughes | Assistant Professor | Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago, Research Health Scientist Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare, Edward Hines JR VA Hospital

Dr. Hughes's research focuses on the use of health information technologies and data to integrate health services through enhanced teamwork and user-centered design. With more than 40 peer reviewed publications, her research has been recognized for excellence by several national agencies, including the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Joshua Hamer | Assistant Professor | Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Dr. Hamer is an early career investigator focused healthcare quality improvement efforts to minimize the negative effects of systemic healthcare problems on patient outcomes. His interests lie in helping teams reduce healthcare worker burden to maximize patient health outcomes.