Nova Scotia is building collaborative teams to provide primary health-care services across the province.
Collaborative teams are providers that bring separate and shared knowledge together to support a comprehensive range of high quality, effective health-care service.
You may visit a doctor or nurse practitioner to control blood pressure or blood sugar levels, consult with a pharmacist about your medications, engage a midwife to guide you through your pregnancy, delivery and early days of parenting or attend a class at the library led by a dietitian on how to manage your diet.
When you have access to a dynamic team of people, the factors affecting your health will receive attention by the right provider, at the right time, at the right place. Through the valuable input of all team members, a comprehensive care plan can be developed.
Some family doctors work alone and some work with other family doctors. All doctors have a secretary who answer the telephone, make your appointments, put reports on your chart, and send reports from your doctor to others. There may be more than one person doing these jobs depending on the number of doctors and patients.
Other staff may work with the doctor as well. They may be located in the doctor's office certain times of the week or may be available in another location nearby. Some examples might be:
These are just some examples of professionals that you may see working with your family doctor in a health care setting.
No two teams will look the same. The number and types of people on the team will depend on the needs of the people who come for care and support. The work team members do will depend on their education, training and responsibilities. The team will work together with you to provide the best care possible.
Building on the concept of Collaborative Teams in Primary Health Care settings, the Family Practice Nursing Program (FPNP) promotes team collaboration in the primary care setting with the focus on improving quality care for patients. Introducing Family Practice Nurses (FPNs) enables primary health care providers to improve health care delivery to patients, offer more peer support, increase patient and family education, enhance chronic disease prevention and management and improve access for patients by reducing appointment wait times. Over time, physicians can experience a reduction in stress and enjoy an enhanced work life balance.
The FPN program is beneficial for not only the practice, but the patient as well. The patient can benefit from increased time for education, guidance and counseling, stronger promotion of a healthy lifestyle through an additional team member as well as more comprehensive health records. The physician will be able to accommodate patients that require more urgent care and attention.
The program is funded by the Department of Health and Wellness and provided by the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RNPDC) located in Halifax. Family Practice Nurses who take the program will refresh and develop skills in many areas in primary health care including chronic disease prevention and management and use of current evidence based guidelines. Teams will receive integration support on-site to assist with business planning, role development and team integration. The Department of Health and Wellness and RNPDC will provide ongoing opportunities for nursing and team competency development and application of best practice clinical guidelines.
The overall vision is to improve access to primary health care thereby meeting the demands of the growing burden of chronic disease while supporting more screening, disease prevention and health promotion activities. This will provide a solid foundation for primary care in the years to come.
Please peruse our brochure: “Are you struggling to keep up with the growing burden of Chronic Disease in your practice?”.
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Page last updated 2011-08-31.