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by Yaneer Bar-Yam
Step III: Create Superdoctor Teams
Superdoctor teams are best suited to provide high-quality care in high-complexity cases.

It is important to note that, in trying to stem the cost of specialist care, alternative cost-cutting approaches have been tried but have not been successful.

Some have proposed having primary care physicians treat more cases, to reduce the number of specialists that patients see as a way of reducing healthcare costs. This approach, though at times politically popular, is ineffective. Family physicians can treat a certain set of conditions, but they do not have the specific knowledge to treat many complex, more specialized conditions.

Of course, we will still need primary care physicians—many problems are best treated by a single person knowledgeable about a wide range of conditions. We also will continue to benefit from individual specialists, or from specialists who don’t normally work together collaborating for particular patients. This works fine for problems of intermediate complexity.

However, for the increasing number of highly complex cases, superdoctor teams are necessary for comprehensive, integrated, cost-effective, quality care.

We must take steps to form innovative specialist teams that can treat the most complex cases successfully and cost-effectively. Introducing such teams is essential if we are to put our vast medical knowledge to effective use.

Next: Step IV: Accelerate intake routing.

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