Ten years after first implementing Primary Health Care – a globally adopted patient- and caregiver-first model of care – a regional government wasn't seeing the expected improvements in health outcomes or lift in patient and caregiver satisfaction. Ownership for the model still rested squarely on the region, when in fact a basic tenet of Primary Health Care is ownership by all stakeholders, and in particular patients, providers, and local communities. No one else was stepping up to take responsibility beyond their own immediate concerns, and the latest patient survey was showing a step back in satisfaction, after ten years, rather than progress.
The government engaged us to align and mobilize crucial stakeholder groups around a revitalized rollout of Primary Health Care and to overcome existing distrust. Work focused on critical aspects of Primary Health Care – Physician Engagement, Community Engagement, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, and First Nations Care – and resulted in one coherent strategy with specific short- and medium-term outcomes and measures.
The program led to a strategy for Primary Health Care that was co-developed and co-owned by the right variety of stakeholders across the region. When the new strategy was officially launched and rolled out, medical professionals, nurse practitioners, town mayors, and government officials stood together to introduce the new plan.
After a decade of stalled progress, the region finally started to see substantial improvements along many primary health care indices.
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