Access a team of health care providers to support quality care
BC is working to increase people’s access to primary care by introducing more teams to the health care system. This is being done through patient medical homes in family practices, primary care networks in the community, and the government’s new urgent primary care centres across BC.
Teams broaden the availability of clinical supports for patients and for family doctors.
Team members can include family doctors, specialists, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and other allied care providers; as well as therapists, pharmacists, and other clinical and non-clinical providers. They can be located in a family practice, or in the community and linked to the practice.
Teams are organized locally through various partnerships of doctors, divisions of family practice, health authorities, community partners and the Ministry of Health, and are based on the needs of patients in a community or a practice.
With the doctor leading care, team members can:
- Provide preventive care, disease management and counselling, and arrange for follow-up services in the community.
- Increase support for patients with complex and/or chronic health conditions.
- Work to their strengths, and support and rely on each other to give patients the best care.
- Collectively increase a community’s capacity to attach patients to a primary care provider.
Patients get timely access to continuous, comprehensive care and appropriate supports to support their health needs and prevent unnecessary ER visits.
With the added support and expertise of a team, physicians can:
- Focus more of their time on difficult diagnoses, medical care, and strengthening patient relationships.
- Reduce the burden of caring for patients alone, which can help prevent burnout.
- Feel more at ease when they know their patients are well cared for and getting comprehensive support.
- Increase the efficiency of a practice and streamline processes to maximize time and capacity.
- Improve the satisfaction of family doctors, staff and partners.
Team-based care models aim to attract new doctors to family practice to further reduce pressures on existing family physicians and communities.
Opportunities for family doctors to work with teams are increasing as new models of care evolve in BC communities. Family doctors can:
- Use their EMR data (panel management) to understand their patients’ needs and arrange for appropriate team-based support to serve those needs.
- Work with other physicians and the local division of family practice to influence emerging, local team-based care models - including through PCNs.
- Create an interdisciplinary team in practice or through the community as supports become available.
For more information about team-based care, please contact the GPSC.