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New Opportunities Identified For Better Patient Care

New Opportunities Identified For Better Patient Care In Primary Health

New opportunities for better patient care from greater collaboration between health professionals were identified at an inter-disciplinary primary care workshop held in Wellington this week.

The workshop, hosted by the General Practice Leaders Forum (GPLF), brought together leaders from the forum with others from pharmacy, midwifery, nursing and other professions, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry.

GPLF Chair Dr Tim Malloy told workshop participants the new PHO Agreement that will be in place from 1 July will raise expectations, set minimum requirements for PHOs, enable funding flexibility and set a platform for alliances.

‘The sector needs to think about where professions contribute to alliances to deliver better patient outcomes and those attending the workshop were supportive of us all working together to identify and action opportunities that are created,’ said Dr Malloy.

He noted that, underpinning the new arrangements, an integrated performance and incentive framework is being developed that will provide national consistency while enabling local solutions.

Workshop attendees agreed that an ideal future would see interdisciplinary teams within primary health care embracing the principles of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s Triple Aim, wrapping services around patients and linking community services with mechanisms for accessing and sharing information.

Building stronger relationships across professions, sharing information within multidisciplinary teams, and having better understanding of competencies within other professions were also critical for success in the new environment.

‘The strong sense was that all of us as professionals need to be aspiring to be practising at the top of our respective scopes and working as interdisciplinary, rather than multi-disciplinary, teams focusing on longitudinal care for patients.’

Dr Malloy said that participants agreed to focus on developing a joint strategy for the first two years and last two years of life – areas of high health care need – and to put aside time to build understanding of other professions, such as through invitations to others’ conferences and other initiatives. 

Another meeting was scheduled for September to maintain the momentum created at this week’s workshop.

‘The mood at the workshop was very positive and there is a real sense that it’s time to pull up our collective sleeves and see how we can work together to make the most of the new environment and the opportunities it will be creating.’


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