Building Value-Added Teams to Care for Behavioral Health Needs in Primary Care

  • Anna D. H. Ratzliff
  • Catherine L. Christensen
  • Jürgen Unützer


Collaborative care has emerged as an evidence-based approach to care for patients with common mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety in primary care. To deliver successful collaborative care, a program must build a team with effective “shared workflows.” A psychiatrist functioning in a mental health leadership role may play an important role in the development, implementation, and ongoing improvement of a high-functioning collaborative care team. The process of building such a team involves several stages: leadership commitment, preparing for team building, developing a clear vision for the scope of the program, assessing current resources and workflows, conducting a gap assessment to identify staff and training needs, generating a collaborative care workflow, training staff, program launch, and supporting the ongoing quality improvement efforts of the team.


Behavioral Health Primary Care Provider Care Manager Care Team Collaborative Care 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna D. H. Ratzliff
    • 1
  • Catherine L. Christensen
    • 1
  • Jürgen Unützer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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