Background: Health care delivery system features can have a profound effect on how frontline physicians and other clinical personnel in primary care practices (primary care providers [PCPs]) view the quality and safety of what they deliver and, ultimately, their clinical work satisfaction.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the combinations of system features (i.e., team dynamics, provider-perceived safety culture, and patient care coordination between PCPs) that are most conducive to positively enhancing PCPs’ clinical work satisfaction.
Approach: Nineteen Harvard-affiliated primary care practice sites participated in the Academic Innovations Collaborative 2012-2016, which aimed to establish team-based care and improve patient safety. An All-Staff Survey was administered to 854 PCPs in 2015. The survey measured provider experience of team dynamics, provider-perceived safety culture, patient care coordination between PCPs, and providers’ clinical work satisfaction. We performed a qualitative comparative analysis to identify “recipes,” that is, combinations of conditions necessary and sufficient for enhancing PCPs’ clinical work satisfaction.
Results: Strong provider-perceived safety culture and effective team dynamics constitute sufficient conditions that, when present in practices, could best support PCPs to achieve greater clinical work satisfaction.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest the importance of creating and sustaining a strong safety culture and of establishing and implementing highly functioning teams in primary care practices for enhancing PCPs’ clinical work satisfaction.
Practice implications: Conducting the qualitative comparative analysis provides a new perspective for informing primary care and encouraging primary care practices to pursue strategic priorities for enhancing PCPs’ clinical work satisfaction and providing safe, high-quality care.