AFHTO Members Expanding Access Within Their Communities
As government implements the vision of Patients First, the creation of sub-LHIN regions will enable a shift to a population-based approach to health care planning and delivery. It is hoped through these system-level changes patients will receive more timely access to, and better integration of, primary care, and better coordination and continuity of services. By looking at the needs of a defined population in sub regions, there is also opportunity to create more equitable access to care and to ensure appropriate care options are in place to meet community needs.
Creating equitable access to team based primary care for those who would benefit
Currently only 25-30% of Ontarians have access to team-based primary care. Evidence tells us with a team-based approach to primary care, patients experience more timely access to care, better care coordination and improved management of chronic diseases. The question is – How do we optimize the use of team resources to maximize access without causing undue stress on providers, unacceptable increases in wait times, and/or decreases in quality of care?
In order to spread interdisciplinary team capacity more broadly in communities, careful consideration must be given to understanding population needs, making best use of existing resources, and ensuring sufficient resources to provide optimal access and quality of care.
Case Study: Optimizing Interprofessional Resources & Spreading Access to Teams
AFHTO, in partnership with the Osborne Group, has prepared a case study which looks at how two of our members (East GTA FHT and Guelph FHT) have expanded access in their community by providing programs and services to people who were not rostered to the FHT physicians. The case study is well aligned with AFHTO’s literature review and position paper “Optimizing value of and access to team-based primary care.”
Sufficient capacity must be developed to spread access to all Ontarians
Team-based primary care is already making a HUGE contribution in moving toward the vision expressed in Patients First. As we navigate through the reforms introduced we see the potential for much greater attention to the role and importance of primary care. It also reinforces the need – and creates possible mechanisms – for investment to expand team-based primary care and deliver on our membership’s vision that all Ontarians will have access to high-quality, comprehensive, interprofessional primary care.