Specialists often have experiences working in teams in hospitals, but reciprocal types of teams have been lacking, for the most part, in community-based practices.
Many specialists believe there might be a better a better way to deliver care, and that it could be improved with the addition of specialized team models that are anchored within their community practices. Team care has the potential to transform care delivery, improve access, improve quality outcomes, and decrease facility utilization.
However, accessing, initiating, and implementing different team models have often been out of reach for most community-based specialists.
Early in 2022, over a four-month period, the Specialist Services Committee (SSC) sponsored an engagement process among specialists to determine their level of interest in team care for the community practice setting. Feedback was positive and enthusiastic, leading to the development of recommendations and a framework for change.
With support from the SSC, the Specialist Team Care Collaborative was launched with the vision of bringing together specialists who collaborate and innovate across and within specialties, and with their health care colleagues, to offer high quality and timely specialist care and change how the provision of health care is delivered in the community setting.
Eleven teams representing nine different specialities are participating in the first cohort of the Collaborative. Each are implementing a local team care model in their outpatient community practice, supported by interactive, multidisciplinary learning sessions, and action periods with the aim to improve provider and patient experience, including increasing clinic capacity and reducing utilization of health care resources outside of the specialist’s team.
Learning and sharing
On March 14 and 15, 2023, the teams came together in Vancouver for a day of learning and sharing as part of the Collaborative's inaugural learning session. Specialists, nurses, allied health professionals, MOAs, office managers and a midwife attended, and those giving feedback reported new appreciation for the importance of team function within a team care model. A second learning session is in the works.
Overall, feedback from specialists participating in the Collaborative is positive. Early data from the three pilot clinics show a 40 to 50 per cent increase in clinic capacity when the team is working together. More results on this important work will be shared as it becomes available.
- "I have the mental and emotional capacity to work more days with the support I am getting with an allied health provider."
- "I enjoy my workdays at the office so much more with the current team model."
- "With an allied health professional, I have more opportunity to slot in an urgent new consult or urgent follow up."
More information: Specialists Team Care Collaborative (STCC)