There is no one-size-fits-all approach to providing primary care. Physicians, patients and communities throughout Nova Scotia require flexibility in how they deliver and receive care. In some cases, a solo family practice as part of a larger network might best meet a community’s needs; in other areas, a collaborative team may best serve a population. In some instances, a patient may only want to receive care from their family physician, while others may prefer accessing the expertise of multiple providers. The health-care system needs to allow for variations in practice types to meet the needs of all Nova Scotians.
Recognizing the evolving needs of its members and their patients, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) has developed Primary Care Transformation: A collaborative practice tool kit. This new tool kit provides practical information from the literature, examples from collaborative practices in Nova Scotia, insights from the experiences of Nova Scotia doctors, implications for collaborative practice, and a set of critical reflection questions for doctors to consider. It also suggests tools and resources to support physicians who are considering collaborative practice. Ultimately, the tool kit should help physicians have productive conversations with the Nova Scotia Health Authority about creating a collaborative practice, should they be interested in transitioning to this type of practice.
The tool kit has five core sections, each diving deeper into the following key considerations: defining collaborative practice, exploring payment models, structural considerations, providing care as a team and liability issues.
Physicians may choose to read the tool kit from cover to cover, or pick and choose, reading only the chapter that answers their specific questions. The tool kit was designed as a reference guide to support the association’s members through the discovery phase of considering a collaborative practice.