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UAlberta researcher pinpoints prescription for successful Primary Care Networks
Date:1/25/2013

A newly-released study on early adoptees of the Primary Care Network initiative proposes that their success lies with three key elements: strong leadership, a redefined, inclusive workspace and allowance for creative discord.

In a paper published in Health Care Management Review, lead researcher Trish Reay of the Alberta School of Business and colleagues from the U of A, University of Calgary and Florida Atlantic University state that of eight centres that agreed to the government proposal to design and deliver comprehensive family health care, five were able to thrive by engaging in and adopting changes in standard practice.

Reay says that this reorganization of patient care into more comprehensive services reaps positive benefits for all parties the patients, the doctors and other healthcare practitioners involved in the networks, and the healthcare system itself. And with over 2500 doctors now signed on the initiative, it is a system that holds promise for improved healthcare delivery in the province.

"What the doctors I've spoken to find attractive about the PCN model is, that by bringing other professionals and creating a team, it allows the physicians to practice medicine in the way they really want to," she said.

Follow the leader: healthcare managers guide successful integration

Reay noted that healthcare managers who were hired to organize the PCNs were an important catalyst of change. They facilitated group decision-making regarding the re-organization and re-allocation of work, such as counseling diabetes patients on lifestyles, from doctors to other healthcare professionals, such as nurses. The physicians were able to focus on the aspects of the practice for which they were solely qualified. Under this framework, the care and treatment of patients truly became a team approach.

"We found that the managers had to find ways to get the physicians and those around them to actually try
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Contact: Jamie Hanlon
jamie.hanlon@shaw.ca
780-619-3136
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

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