Publication Date



health care teams; patient engagement; big data; machine learning



Team-based care has been linked to key outcomes associated with the Quadruple Aim and a key driver of high-value patient-centered care. Use of the electronic health record (EHR) and machine learning have significant potential to overcome previous barriers to studying the impact of teams, including delays in accessing data to improve teamwork and optimize patient outcomes.


This study utilized a large EHR dataset (n = 316,542) from an urban health system to explore the relationship between team composition and patient activation, a key driver of patient engagement. Teams were operationalized using consensus definitions of teamwork from the literature. Patient activation was measured using the Patient Activation Measure (PAM). Results from multilevel regression analyses were compared to machine learning analyses using multinomial logistic regression to calculate propensity scores for the effect of team composition on PAM scores. Under the machine learning approach, a causal inference model with generalized overlap weighting was used to calculate the average treatment effect of teamwork.


Seventeen different team types were observed in the data from the analyzed sample (n = 12,448). Team sizes ranged from 2 to 5 members. After controlling for confounding variables in both analyses, more diverse, multidisciplinary teams (team size of 4 or more) were observed to have improved patient activation scores.


This is the first study to explore the relationship between team composition and patient activation using the EHR and big data analytics. Implications for further research using EHR data and machine learning to study teams and other patient-centered care are promising and could be used to advance team science. (J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2024;11:18-28.)




November 3rd, 2022


July 25th, 2023


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