The GPSC is working with its partners—including family doctors, local divisions, and health authorities—to transform primary care in BC by creating patient medical homes and primary care networks. The goal is to enable access to quality primary health care that effectively meets the needs of patients and populations in BC.
Patient medical homes (with family physicians at the centre) form the foundation for primary care networks, which bring together services and organizations to better coordinate care for patients. Team-based care is the overarching principle of this work. When GPs work in teams—whether those teams are located in their family practice or in the community and linked to the practice—this care model can broaden the availability of clinical supports for patients.
Working in teams benefits family physicians in a number of ways. Teams enable doctors to:
- Distribute responsibilities.
- Focus on chronic and preventive patient care needs.
- Streamline patient referral and patient care processes.
- Ensure patients have timely access to a primary care provider.
- Decrease the burden of caring for patients alone.
- Attract locums and new GPs to their practice and community.
When doctors share responsibility for patient care with a team of care providers, patients benefit as well through timely access to a primary care provider and continuous, coordinated care.
The GPSC supports GPs to work in teams in their practices through incentive fees, education and training, and the GPSC Team-Based Care Reference Guide.
The GPSC offers family doctors eight incentives (Table 1) that enable them to delegate certain tasks to team members in their practice. To qualify, the team members can be employed in the practice or work in the practice with their salary paid directly or indirectly by a third party. For more information on team-based care incentive fees, doctors can visit www.gpscbc.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education and training
To help doctors enhance patient care by working in primary care teams, the Practice Support Program (PSP) offers a seven-part learning series (Table 2), supported by in-practice facilitation.
No matter the type or size of team, these sessions can help develop key competencies for building successful team-based care in practice.
Practice teams are encouraged to participate in sessions together. The Foundations session is open to all interested doctors and team members and is a prerequisite for the next six sessions. Subsequent sessions are available to practices currently working in teams or those in the process of implementing a team into the practice.
This three-credit-per-hour group learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 48 Mainpro+ credits. The program consists of in-person learning sessions, action planning, and integrated learning packages.
The program is designed to be adaptable, flexible, and streamlined. Sessions are 2.5 hours long and can be tailored to reflect physicians’ practice needs. Physicians are encouraged to include all members of their practice team, and sessions are kept focused and interactive by including a maximum of 20 participants.
Once doctors and their team members complete the program, in-practice coaching and support is provided to help them implement what they have learned.
For more information, doctors are encouraged to contact their PSP Regional Support Team, or email email@example.com.
GPSC Team-Based Care Reference Guide
The GPSC has curated a list of links to tools and resources that support doctors to develop and lead practice teams, including templates, sample documents, and planning guides. These resources are made available by the GPSC (Practice Support Program and Divisions of Family Practice), the Ministry of Health, and stakeholder organizations.
Resources are categorized as follows:
- Practice management (compensation, job descriptions samples, practice tools, privacy and legal, and patient medical record).
- In-practice coaching and education.
- Patient engagement.
For more information about these team-based care supports, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Alana Godin, Director, Community Practice and Quality, Community Practice, Quality and Integration
This article is the opinion of the GPSC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
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