A GP For Me - Evaluation Findings
Within the time frame of A GP for Me, Central Okanagan physicians attached 15,380 patients. The A GP for Me project successfully implemented six strategies which resulted in 11,499 of these new attachments, while the remaining 4,331 of the new attachments were the result of the normal attachment rates of physicians in the community. Stakeholders identified the biggest impact of the project to be the development and implementation of the Mobile Assessment Unit, and subsequent attachment of over one thousand 65+ year old patients. In addition, the Division has recruited 20 new providers, some of whom will be attaching patients and providing longitudinal patient care for years to come.
Key findings include:
- Enhanced Physician-Patient Relationships. A media campaign was developed and launched. The campaign was designed to educate the public regarding the importance of having a relationship with their GP and how to best prepare for appointments Physicians’ awareness of the campaign was moderate; between 10-15% of physicians attributed improved patient preparation and increased patient visits when appropriate to the effect of the campaign.
- Expanded Community Services/Health System Network. Following considerable effort to improve public access to local community health resources, the project prioritised the implementation of FETCH (For Everything That’s Community Health). Still in development, as supported by extension funding, is the live release and an event to introduce physicians, their office staff and community partners to the CODFP Fetch website.
- Targeted attachment efforts and develop a patient/GP matching registry & Establish a Mobile Assessment Unit (MAU). Targeted to older adults (65+); using a patient/GP matching registry and MAU mode. 54 physicians attached 1206 patients.. Patients were connected to community resources if required while waiting for attachment.
- Increased Physician and Locum Supply. 20 physicians were recruited to the Central Okanagan during A GP for Me. 17 new physicians began practicing and 3 new recruits are expected by October 2016. 8,900 new patients were attached or prevented from becoming unattached as a result of 11 of the 17 newly recruited physicians attaching patients for longitudinal care Over the course of the project, 10 physicians were provided with a “Red Carpet Welcome”.
- Built Office Capacity. The Division partnered with the Practice Support Program to support physicians. 11 education and engagement events were held for local physicians and MOAs. Peer Mentor MOA team formed to support offices throughout the community.
The most significant changes resulting from the A GP for Me project included increased attachment, particularly of older adults within the community. In addition, the project has fostered an increased understanding and awareness of the challenges facing primary care, as well as improved relationships between physicians, the Division, and strategic partners. Factors that contributed to the success of the project included strong and engaged physician leadership at the steering committee and working group level as well as increased face-to-face engagement of the physicians’’ office staff. This engagement enabled the Division to reach many members, and include them in the core activities such as the physician registry and education events. The project was also supported by a collaborative approach to the work, notably the inclusion of the health authority and community partners. Lastly, the project benefited from a strong backbone of support from the Division staff team.