In September, the EICP team crossed Canada to consult with primary
health care providers and their patients and clients about their views
on, and experience with, interdisciplinary collaboration. This first
round of small group consultations allowed us to reach some of Canada�s
larger urban centres and several more remote communities. Reports from
these consultations will be posted on the EICP web site as quickly as
The EICP consultation process brings together professionals from a
variety of primary health care disciplines and asks them to spend a day
together providing input, reacting to scenarios and concepts, and
expressing their vision for the future.
Specifically, participants in the small group consultations worked
together to develop:
A listing of issues and challenges associated with interdisciplinary
A first approximation of a set of principles, or underlying values, for
Comments about barriers;
An environmental scan about the conditions affecting primary health care
over the next five years;
A picture of their current work situation, job satisfaction levels and
perceptions about interdisciplinary collaboration;
A vision for the probable, versus the desirable, future of primary
health care in Canada; and,
Views on the solutions or factors needed to encourage more
During the consultation, participants also worked through
patient case. They
also provided up-front input via an EICP workbook that covered some of
the key theme areas in primary health care.
patients/clients and health care providers, that follows the format for
these consultations, will soon be posted on the web site. These surveys
will supplement and validate data already gathered in the face-to-face
small group consultations. These surveys are a great way for all
Canadians to get involved in improving primary health care in Canada.
Preliminary findings from the small group consultations involving both
patients/clients and health care providers indicate that:
Some health care providers are already working in tandem with other
providers in their communities. Others are intrigued about how to make
Health care providers are burdened by their workloads and their
Providers see that patients want input from different disciplines.
Patients are frustrated by wait times between visits to different
providers and specialists, and they don�t like having to provide their
medical histories repeatedly.
Access is sometimes still a problem for many patients, so that first
contact with the health care system is often delayed.
Interestingly, rural communities demonstrate a higher rate of
interdisciplinary collaboration, possibly due to proximity and
necessity. Primary health care providers need to learn more about their
colleagues in other professionals who also work at the primary level.
Reports from these sessions will soon be posted on the EICP web site.
The EICP team will soon proceed to a series of regional meetings that
will validate findings from the small group consultations and deepen
knowledge and understanding about collaborative practices.
With the first round of consultations under their belts, the EICP team
is currently reviewing session notes and planning a series of regional
workshops to validate findings. These �next step� sessions, planned for
November and early December, will engage more primary health care
providers, patients and policy-makers from each of Canada�s provinces
and territories. Each consultation step moves the Initiative closer to
its ultimate goal � the development of a set of principles and a
workable framework for achieving more interdisciplinary collaboration in
primary health care.
At present, regional workshops are scheduled for the following dates and