Northern Health Rolling Out New Health Care Delivery Model
Prince George, B.C.- The Northern Health Authority is making a move to a new model of health care delivery.
The change will see the development of professional care teams who coordinate community health services along with the patient’s Doctor or Nurse Practitioner so that instead of the patient having to navigate the system by seeing a number of different professionals, the professionals come to the patient. In short, it’s an effort to make access to health care available in a “one stop shop” scenario.
The change is meant to improve health outcomes for patients and their families, it is also expected to reduce wait times. For the average person, who is visiting their Doctor’s office for routine issues, the change will not be evident, but for those with chronic or complex health issues, the patient will have access to a team that will work with the patient to develop a health care plan.
“The research shows that we need to get better at providing person and family centered care in order to help us better meet the needs of our patients,” said Dr. Sean Ebert, a family physician in Vanderhoof who is also the Physician Lead and Board Chair for the Northern Interior Rural Division of Family Practice. “The primary and community care work that is happening with physicians and Northern Health’s community services across the region shows this commitment and I look forward to working together on implementation.”
The creation of the inter-professional teams who will work closely with a patient’s family doctor or nurse practitioners in communities across the north will begin over the coming months. The team will be made up of nurses and a variety of health professionals that may include social workers, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.
The new model won’t be the same in each and every northern community says Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich “The inter-professional teams will have common elements. However, there will be variation in order to meet the needs of each community across northern B.C.”
The transition will begin in several communities served by Northern Health by the end of this month. These changes will be put in place community-by-community over time to reduce the impact on patients during the transition and to enable services to be designed to meet the specific needs in a community.