The Patient’s Medical Home is the future of family practice in Canada. In this vision, every family practice across Canada offers the medical care that Canadians want: Seamless care that is centred on individual patients’ needs within their community, throughout every stage of life, and integrated with other health services.
Having this clear, compelling vision for the future of family practice is the first step in making it happen. Can you see this for your practice? Does it exist for your patients? Are you leading your practice and peers to make it a reality? The implementation of the Patient’s Medical Home in Alberta is well on its way. We are doing a lot of things right, but we need to continue on this trajectory to ensure the continued provision of quality care. Since I like to keep things simple, I suggest two key areas that I think we as family physicians need to focus on in Alberta right now:
Focus on Your Contribution to Seamless Care
In our practices, family physicians and their teams are working together to provide a system of front-line health care that is accessible, high-quality, comprehensive, and continuous. We take responsibility for the overarching and proactive medical care of patients, ensuring follow-up and facilitating transitions of care and/or referrals when required. The newly developed Family Medicine Professional Profile describes comprehensive medical care for all people, ages, life stages, and presentations. This care includes all clinical domains, both acute and chronic, and all stages, from preventive to palliative care. Family physicians work across care settings and regulatory environments. Take stock of how you are providing and supporting seamless care for your patients and know that no one else in the health care system can do what you do!
Focus on Your Engagement in Leadership
Are you a leader in your practice? Do others look to you for direction and advice? As family physicians, you are given an amazing opportunity to drive the evolution of your practice. From the most minute things like a coaching conversation with a peer, new team member, or learner, to a meeting to consider investments in new infrastructure or a piece of equipment for your practice, you are stepping up daily to the leadership challenge. There are so many physician leadership development opportunities and a growing community of leaders supporting each other in Alberta. Take a look and take part!
Keep it simple and find focus. What can you do today to advance your practice and more provide moreseamless care for your patients? What can we at the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) do to help? Keep in touch and let me know if there is anything you need to advance excellence in your practice.
Dr. Fred Janke, BSc, MSc, MD, FCFP, FRRMS
President, Alberta College of Family Physicians