October 28, 2014 - On May 23 and 24, 2014, the senior leadership of our organizations (board and council members, executive officers) participated in Strengthening the Bond: Alberta’s Tri‐Professional Forum, an opportunity to better understand each profession’s complex needs and challenges in order to benefit patient care. Our discussions form the basis for an action plan to improve continuity of care and collaborative practice.
Forum participants used the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) Continuity of Patient Care Study and the patient story that underpinned the report to consider key issues concerning continuity of care. They also discussed ways the three professions can work together to improve continuity of care and overall care delivery. Three key issues were identified:
Communication must be improved by
Eliminating silos and addressing fragmentation of care requires leadership at all levels. At a high level, we will explore common professional guidelines and collaboration when it comes to raising policy issues. Clinical leadership must support practice settings in raising the quality of teamwork, and ensure that quality improvement efforts happen in an integrated way, with a single-minded focus on improving health-care delivery. We support creating the opportunity for every Albertan to have a relationship with a consistent team in a primary health-care home, and strongly believe this would enhance continuity of care.
Teamwork is the right model for care, and teams need to be constituted to meet the needs of the population. The patients we serve play a leading role on the team, and all roles need to be clearly defined and understood.
We then considered our preferred vision for healthcare delivery that improves the continuity of care for patients and contributes to personal and professional satisfaction for members of our professions. Participants agreed that a vision must be clear, inclusive, work in different environments and be backed by quality improvement and performance management systems that take an integrated, team-based approach. It needs to include:
As the Forum concluded, we shared our commitment to continue to build relationships, to learn from one another, and to support one another in advocating for systems that support and ensure continuity of care. We will continue to meet to develop more specific action plans with initiatives at different levels: patient/public, professional and government. Future discussions may consider the possibility of developing resources to foster inter-professional practice and best practices to ensure continuity of care.
We look forward to working together to create a patient-centered health system that effectively balances and coordinates patient and population needs across the continuum of care. The forum showed us how much common ground we share and the opportunity before us if we work together to create the health system we all want in Alberta.
Dr. Randall Sargent, President
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Brad Willsey, President
Alberta College of Pharmacists
Dr. Allan S. Garbutt, President
Alberta Medical Association
Todd Prochnau, President
Alberta Pharmacists’ Association
Shannon Spenceley, President
College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta