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. 2019 Oct 21;4(4):59.
doi: 10.3390/geriatrics4040059.

Geriatric Resource Teams: Equipping Primary Care Practices to Meet the Complex Care Needs of Older Adults

Free PMC article

Geriatric Resource Teams: Equipping Primary Care Practices to Meet the Complex Care Needs of Older Adults

Gwendolen Buhr et al. Geriatrics (Basel). .
Free PMC article


Primary care practices lack the time, expertise, and resources to perform traditional comprehensive geriatric assessment. In particular, they need methods to improve their capacity to identify and care for older adults with complex care needs, such as cognitive impairment. As the US population ages, discovering strategies to address these complex care needs within primary care are urgently needed. This article describes the development of an innovative, team-based model to improve the diagnosis and care of older adults with cognitive impairment in primary care practices. This model was developed through a mentoring process from a team with expertise in geriatrics and quality improvement. Refinement of the existing assessment process performed during routine care allowed patients with cognitive impairment to be identified. The practice team then used a collaborative workflow to connect patients with appropriate community resources. Utilization of these processes led to reduced referrals to the geriatrics specialty clinic, fewer patients presenting in a crisis to the social worker, and greater collaboration and self-efficacy for care of those with cognitive impairment within the practice. Although the model was initially developed to address cognitive impairment, the impact has been applied more broadly to improve the care of older adults with multimorbidity.

Keywords: collaborative practice; geriatric workforce enhancement program; geriatrics; primary care.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program Primary Care Geriatric Resource Team Training: a year-long commitment to educational programs and process improvement activities. Abbreviations: ICT: Interagency Care Team; IPEC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Number of referrals to the geriatric specialty clinic from the beginning of the project. The orange dotted line indicates the median.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Redefining Roles and Workflow in Geriatric Primary Care before and after the establishment of a GRT.

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