A Vision for Family Practice – The Patient’s Medical Home

Family Physician and Medical Home Team

Family practice is the cornerstone of health care in BC and across the country. Family physicians are the first point-of-contact for many patients and are in the unique position of being able to develop a relationship with many or all of their patients.

Recognizing your vital role in health, in 2011, the College of Family Physicians of Canada released a series of goals and recommendations to provide timely access to medical care for all Canadians through family practice. This vision is summarized in The Patient’s Medical Home model of care, which strives to deliver:

  • A family physician for every Canadian
  • The best possible health outcomes for patients and communities
  • Knowledgeable, professional, and community-based care through family physicians

While The Patient’s Medical Home model shares some elements with other international medical models, this is a made-in-Canada vision—one that embraces Canadian values of equity, fairness, and access to care for all people. It builds upon Canada’s longstanding history of universal health care provided through family practice and the primary care system.

Find out more about the Patient’s Medical Home and learn how to implement it in your practice. Visit patientsmedicalhome.ca.

BC’s Vision: Patient’s Medical Home Model Symposium

On April 29th, 2015, the BCCFP hosted a symposium of seventy-five participants, including health care providers, health authorities, and patients. The goal of the conference was to develop a unified vision, implementation strategy, and next steps for the Patient’s Medical Home Model of Care.

The goal of the conference was to develop a unified vision, implementation strategy, and next steps for the Patient’s Medical Home Model of Care.

As we move forward in implementing the Patients’ Medical Home Model in BC, the province’s stakeholders agreed on the following priority next steps:

  • develop a business model that considers a variety of funding sources,
  • align all sectors to a unified vision for the model,
  • develop innovative prototypes for the model with evaluation metrics that can be shared across the province, and
  • develop a provincial change framework and implementation plan.

Read the full symposium report.

Leading Policy Papers

“Building the business case for allied health care professionals”

Published in BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 3, April 2015, page(s) 99-100 Letters
Denise McLeod, MD, Louise Nasmith, MD, Christie Newton, MD, Amy Weber, MD, Toby Kirshin

There is a significant body of research backing the efficacy of the Patient’s Medical Home model, with benefits including improved patient and provider satisfaction, superior health outcomes, and reduced system costs through decreased reliance on emergency departments.

The BCCFP strongly advocates for interprofessional collaboration in which health providers work within their scope of expertise. Through the use of effective communication practices and electronic medical records, the information exchange between health professionals can be quick and efficient, resulting in seamless experiences for the patient. When compared to Canadian averages, BC family physicians are more likely to be paid primarily through fee-for-service methods. Innovative payment arrangements, often blended with the traditional fee-for-service model, have been shown to incentivize continuity of care for patients with chronic diseases and multiple comorbidities—emerging priorities for any primary care system.

The BCCFP encourages additional study of the impact of alternative methods of remuneration as well as interprofessional collaboration in the provision of primary care in the context of BC. Experiences in other provinces using care models that align with the patient’s medical home have been positive—investigating and implementing innovative solutions in BC should be a priority in our health care system. The A GP for Me initiative is but one innovative approach to advance collaborative practice and access to family physicians for all—similar efforts in backing other patient’s medical home practice models will yield the best results for the health of all British Columbians.

“Changes to medical staff privileging in British Columbia”

Published in the BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 5, June 2014, page(s) 219 Letters
Patricia Mirwaldt, MD, CCFP

Due to the unique nature of full-scope family practice, the development of the privileging dictionary for family physicians and the criteria for currency of family medicine responsibilities must be considered from the perspective of the longitudinal generalist. As the provincial voice of family physicians with this perspective, the BCCFP wishes to highlight some specific considerations for the privileging process for family physicians:

  • The definition of currency as it relates to family physicians. The College of Family Physicians sets the standards for training and ongoing maintenance of certification for family physicians in Canada. The College defines and assesses the validated educational standards, which maintain competency. We would be pleased to share the criteria used by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in developing a competency-based approach, which we hope will be useful to the privileging process.
  • Currency is but part of competence. In consideration of the breadth and scope of family practice, currency based on numbers of exposures or procedures does not adequately measure competence.
  • The unintended consequences of applying such a narrow definition of competence. Applying a currency-based-on-numbers approach to privileging for family practice, a discipline with such a broad scope, may discourage family physicians from entering full-scope family practice and negatively impact recruitment and retention of family physicians for remote and rural areas.
  • Evidence for the process of determining the privileging standards (currency or competence) specific to full-scope family practice must be considered.

The BCCFP has worked closely with the Society of General Practitioners and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC to identify a diverse cross-section of family physicians to populate the family medicine expert panel. We believe that their direct involvement in the project is important to ensure that privileging standards are developed to best meet the needs of our valued family doctors, patients, and the health care system.

Discussion Papers & Position Statements

The BCCFP continues to prepare and present position statements to ensure that your needs are represented and considered. View our recent position statements below: