For immediate release
Community-governed health centres announce commitment that all providers will work to full scope of practice
TORONTO (Thursday, June 28) – Over 120 community-governed primary health care centres throughout the province have set a goal to ensure all their Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses and all other health providers are practising to their full scope within three years. By meeting this goal, the association says, over 500,000 served by the centres will receive a higher quality of care from interprofessional teams and the province will also get better value for healthcare dollars.
“This goal is designed to take a good thing – interprofessional health teams – and make them even better. We intend to play a lead role ensuring people and communities receive the right services provided by the right mix of health providers,” said Adrianna Tetley, executive director of the Association of Ontario Health Centres which represents 73 Community Health Centres, 10 Aboriginal Health Centres, 15 Community Family Health Teams and 4 Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics.
Tetley pointed to recent research from the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Élisabeth Bruyère Institute which demonstrates that Ontario’s community health centres deliver a superior quality of care compared to other models. “Our focus delivering services using interprofessional teams could be a key factor in the superior quality of care community health centres deliver. So we intend to strengthen those teams even further by ensuring each and every provider is maximizing their full potential.” she said.
Interprofessional health teams in AOHC members centres extend well beyond physicians and nurses and includes a wide range of providers. To name just a few: dietitians, chiropodists, speech pathologists, audiologists, social workers, health promoters and community health workers.
The associations’ announcement that its member centres will continue expanding the scope of their interprofessional teams followed today’s release of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)'s groundbreaking report entitled: Primary Solutions for Primary Care: Maximizing and Expanding the Role of the Primary Care Nurse in Ontario.
The RNAO report was prepared by a task force of which AOHC was a part. It contains 20 recommendations calling on a number of stakeholders, including government, regulators and primary care organizations, to maximize and expand the role of 4,285 Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses working in Ontario’s primary care system. Fully implementing the Task Force’s recommendations will increase access to primary care for Ontarians, improve the delivery of quality, person-centred care and will support health system cost effectiveness.
“When nurses work to their full scope of practice it means that the individual, family and community receives healthcare that promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being” said Christa Hiscock, a registered nurse at Bramalea Community Health Centre, which has already embarked on a formal program to ensure all members of the interprofessional team are maximizing their skills and capabilities. “After a few months following RNAO's “ Nursing Best Practice Guidelines,”our interprofessional team is better able to problem solve, coordinate care, mentor and advocate for our clients. Embracing this new role has also led to more opportunities for team solidarity and meaningful collaboration. This in turn leads to more comprehensive and appropriate care for those we serve.”
In primary health care settings, when other health providers are able to work to their full scope of practice, family physicians can make better use of their specific skills and training. “It allows me to focus on the medicine and pay close attention to those with complex conditions without the stress of managing all their issues on my own ,” says Dr. Nicole Nitti, a family physician at Toronto’s Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services. “I can also serve as a medical resource to other members of the interprofessional team, supporting nurses and other health professionals to work at their full capacity. In this way, people are able to receive comprehensive and holistic care while reducing the cost to the health care system. It’s a win for everybody.”
Contact: Mary MacNutt: 647-992-2642 aohc.org
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|Association of Ontario Health Centres|
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