As a result, the EICP initiative research plan is
To provide an overview of interdisciplinary
collaboration in primary health care in Canada, including a literature
To examine the three core elements that affect
interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care nationally:
To provide a business case for interdisciplinary
collaboration in primary health care.
To assess readiness for interdisciplinary
collaboration in primary health care in Canada.
To lead to recommendations to enhance
interdisciplinary collaboration in primary health care.
EICP researchers will cast a wide net that will
include: an examination of definitions and objectives related to
interdisciplinary collaboration; Canadian examples; cost-effectiveness
issues; a gap analysis; and the impact of collaboration on patient
Within the policy context, the research will focus
on primary health care structures, provider payment mechanisms,
liability and regulatory frameworks, and overall primary health care
The public health and social context will include
an examination of population health issues, public access to primary
health care services, as well as public perceptions of primary health
Finally, an examination of population health
issues, public access to primary health care services, as well as public
perceptions of primary health care will provide more knowledge in the
public health and social context.
Throughout the life of the EICP Initiative,
individual providers, health service organizations, and their patients
and clients will be asked to provide input about the state of
interdisciplinary collaboration in Canada. Through consultations,
on-line surveys and focus groups these individuals and groups will
provide their insights about quality of life issues, public and
professional attitudes and perceptions, job satisfaction, continuing
education, and operational/system-wide issues.
EICP Evaluation Approach
The Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care (EICP)
Initiative is committed to tracking its progress in a systematic way so
as much as possible can be learned from this important national health
care initiative. Program evaluation provides that systematic approach
and contributes to the success and accountability of large and complex
projects such as the EICP Initiative. Program evaluation and monitoring
help ensure that the goals, objectives and planned outcomes are met. A
commitment to quality evaluation also asserts the importance of
developing clear plans, inclusive partnerships, and feedback systems
that allow learning and continuous improvement.
EICP evaluation will focus on activities, processes and products that
are intended to achieve the immediate, intermediate and longer-term
outcomes of the Initiative. Immediate outcomes that reflect the
objectives of the Initiative (e.g. increased interest and knowledge
among primary health care practitioners about the nature and
requirements of successful collaborative care initiatives) are expected
by the end of the Initiative. Intermediate and final outcomes will be
reached as a result of the momentum created by the Initiative; but
represent targets that are well beyond the time horizons and initial
mandate of the EICP initiative.
The EICP Evaluation team is working work closely
with the Steering Committee and Initiative stakeholders to customize an
appropriate approach to program evaluation for this Initiative. In these
early days, the team has established the following three pillars for its
Collaboration, inclusion and participation:
The EICP Evaluation team will work closely with the Steering Committee
and other stakeholders to design the evaluation component.
Objectivity: The EICP Evaluation team will
establish a rigourous and transparent mechanism for collecting readily
verifiable data based on an approved evaluation framework.
Flexibility: The EICP Evaluation team will
revisit and review its evaluation and monitoring strategy every six
months to ensure that it provides for sufficient input from stakeholders
and accurately reflects their situations and concerns.
EICP Change Management
Change and the EICP Initiative
Since it is the overall objective of the Enhancing
Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care (EICP) Initiative
to encourage more collaboration amongst primary health care providers,
the Initiative will devote significant resources to helping
professionals understand what collaboration means for them, in personal
terms. And so, as part of its consultation efforts, the EICP will begin
to expose individual professionals, regulators, government and health
association representatives to the real challenges and benefits of
On one level the EICP’s principles and framework
will spell out options and ideas that could be useful in various
practice settings across Canada. The EICP principles and framework will
help to better define the relationships between clients/patients and
various practitioners, as well as how health care integrates with other
elements of the health system.
On another level, the EICP team hopes the
Initiative will begin to inspire real change at the grassroots and
system-wide levels. Until individual professionals decide to read a bit
more, talk to some colleagues and “test drive” the collaboration
concept, true interdisciplinary collaboration won’t have the momentum
required to create change in the health system. Systemic change is also
required to support the adjustments and transitions that individual (and
groups of) practitioners are making. The goal is to have real people
having real experiences with collaboration, in a supportive environment.
anticipated that an awareness of the need for change will develop within
the primary health care community over the course of the EICP
Initiative. Through its work, the EICP Initiative will present viable
options and begin to create a positive perception of collaboration. All
this is groundwork for a time when the health care community will
determine how committed it is to really moving forward with change.
The EICP Approach to Change
The focus on change will be apparent in nearly all
of the EICP Initiative’s endeavours. The EICP team has developed its own
change process model, inspired by some of North American’s leading
change practitioners, primarily those who see change and learning as
comparable processes. Change specialists such as Anthony Dibella and J.
Gould who are engaged by the U.S. Healthcare Forum and Daryl Connors
(Leading on the Edge of Chaos, 1998), view change as a developmental or
evolutionary process. The EICP model borrows from other successful
change approaches used in other health and non-health environments too.
Specific strategies, tools and techniques will be developed by staff to
support the change elements of the EICP’s ongoing work.
Key EICP change activities include:
A survey of stakeholders will be conducted to
establish a benchmark for their initial readiness for change.
A comparative literature review about
experiences in various jurisdictions with interdisciplinary
collaboration. (NB: This review offered considerable support in the
development of a first approximation of the principles and framework
that will eventually be the focus of the EICP Initiative. The review
also helped frame the workplan for the Initiative).
Facilitated consultations with stakeholder
groups including health care providers, patients, government and
As various versions of the principles and
framework are presented and tested with stakeholder groups, the EICP
Initiative will continue to keep the spotlight on change and the “human
side” of the change process. The Initiative will help stakeholders
identify the critical “change indicators”, or signals, that will
influence the primary health care practitioner to shift from the status
quo to a new paradigm of care based on interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Initiative hopes to encourage a leadership
culture among practitioners and their professional associations, with a
view to creating a more determined, shared vision of the change
process. That vision includes recognition of individual roles and
responsibilities, and respect for professional, autonomous clinical
Change is very personal and building consensus
takes time. Change is both a collective and personal process that
fundamentally is about sharing information and learning. The EICP
Initiative hopes to leave a legacy of solid research, a sturdy framework
for structural and personal change, and a positive learning environment
in the primary health care community. All that has to happen next is
Communications will be a key component of the work
of the Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care
(EICP) Initiative. Since the Initiative has a mandate to highlight
innovation and best practices and to build a case for changes in primary
health care, effective two-way communications will characterize the
operations of the Initiative. For example, the EICP team intends to
keep all stakeholders – professions, health organizations, regulators,
educators, governments and Canadians – apprised of Initiative activities
The hub of EICP communications will be the EICP
web site at www.eicp-acis.ca.
The web site will provide reliable and timely information about “what’s
new” and “what’s relevant” as the EICP Initiative consults and conducts
research about interdisciplinary collaboration. As well, the web site
will feature interactive options that will allow health care providers,
and all Canadians for that matter, to participate in on-line fora and
surveys. Via the web site, the EICP will be able to generate dialogue,
gather information and data, and then share its learnings and
knowledge. Web site subscribers will also receive regular updates and
an e-newsletter from the EICP Initiative. Along the way, EICP
communicators are committed to showcasing the health care providers who
have a little or a lot of experience with teamwork and the concept of
What’s New in EICP Communications?
EICP Initiative launched its interactive web site in September 2004.
EICP in the News!
A 12-minute DVD/video that introduces the EICP
Initiative can be ordered from the Secretariat. The DVD and video are
available in both languages and are closed captioned for the hearing
Check out the
Watch for the
launch of our e-newsletter –
Teamwork:E-news from the Enhancing
Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care (EICP)