Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care Initiative

On-line surveys probe experience with interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care

OTTAWA, February 14, 2022 - The Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care (EICP) Initiative has posted two on-line surveys on its web site to find out more about what health care providers and the public think about interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care. This type of collaboration involves formal and informal arrangements that give individuals and their families access to the right professional and the right services, at the right time. The surveys will be accessible on the EICP web site at www.eicp-acis.ca until March 24, 2005.

The EICP Initiative, funded by Health Canada's Primary Health Care Transition fund, has a mandate to explore options that would encourage Canada's front-line health professionals to work together more collaboratively.

These two on-line surveys — one aimed at health care providers and the other at individual patients and clients of those providers — will gather key data about the incidence and effectiveness of interdisciplinary teamwork. Research to date suggests that more and more health care providers are teaming up either by co-locating or coordinating their patient/client care in other ways. This type of collaboration gives individuals and their families a wider range of care options and access to the specific expertise of primary health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, dietitians, occupational therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers, speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

"At the heart of true collaboration in health care is a real focus on the patient or the client — it all begins and ends there," says John Service, EICP Chair and CEO of the Canadian Psychological Association. "Generally, we've heard a lot of support for the notion that health care professionals have options to link their work and take a team approach to providing care, but these surveys will deepen our understanding of how health care practitioners, and the individuals in their care, actually experience that kind of collaboration." Service further notes that it is not the goal of the EICP Initiative to develop a single model of primary health care, but rather, to create more knowledge and understanding about interdisciplinary collaboration and how it produces solutions and benefits for many of the challenges in the health care system.

The EICP survey for health care providers will try to find out whether health professionals have experience with collaboration and teamwork, and where they see the benefits and challenges. In the EICP on-line survey designed for the public, individuals are asked whether they see evidence of more collaboration among primary health care providers and if they think it makes a difference.

Working with a national Steering Committee that represents many of the key primary health care professions, the EICP Initiative will analyze and post findings from these surveys. Survey results will be added to commissioned research findings in support of the EICP's main goal — the development of a set of guiding principles and a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration across Canada.

By the autumn of 2005, the Initiative plans to propose these principles and the framework for ratification by Steering Committee organizations. Work will continue after that to encourage governments, health care organizations, educational and regulatory institutions to consider how they might do their part to encourage more collaboration and teamwork in primary health care. Most provinces have already identified interdisciplinary collaboration as a cornerstone in their plans to transform the delivery and quality of primary health care services. Collaboration is viewed as a way to improve patient/client health outcomes, support health professionals, save costs, sustain the system and introduce more health promotion and illness prevention to the health care system.

These on-line surveys are key components of the EICP research and consultation program and will ensure that the future of interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care is designed based on input from the public and health care providers. This quantitative research phase will complement findings from recent EICP face-to-face consultations with health care professionals and their patients and clients across Canada. Reports from those consultations, along with the results of commissioned research studies that will examine various aspects of interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care, will soon be available on the EICP web site.

For more information:

EICP Initiative Media spokespersons:

John Service, EICP Chair &
Glen Roberts, EICP Executive Director
Tel: 613-526-3090 ext. 460
Fax: 613-526-4857

Or Susan Wright

E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.eicp-acis.ca.

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