Theme 5. Optimizing use of resources
Family physicians often lack time, resources, and tools to address cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening (CCDPS). Although most patients have multiple risks, most guidelines and resources are focused on one specific disease, organ system, or lifestyle risk. Furthermore, cancer survivors and patients living in poverty achieve fewer prevention and screening goals. The BETTER (Building on Existing Tools to Improve Chronic Disease Prevention and Screening in Primary Care) approach integrates evidence-based preventive care for cancer with other chronic diseases, specifically focusing on lifestyle factors. An individual in the primary care setting is trained to take on the role of a Prevention Practitioner (PP), who then develops a tailored “Prevention Prescription” with each patient, helping them to set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based) goals for their health and linking them to community resources, as appropriate. The BETTER WISE study will build on this approach to improve clinical outcomes, reduce the burden of chronic disease, and improve the sustainability of the healthcare system through improved CCDPS and cancer surveillance in primary care. Using the BETTER toolkit, which includes blended care pathways for cancer survivors and CCDPS, the PP will address the CCDPS needs of patients (including cancer survivors) as well as screen for poverty. BETTER provides a framework for an adaptable, collaborative approach that is grounded in evidence and allows for primary care practices to develop skills and resources for cancer surveillance and CCDPS.
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