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About this Initiative

The Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care (EICP) Initiative is all about making a good thing better.   Primary health care in Canada is the first safety net most of us encounter when we are ill or have health concerns.   Making that net stronger, wider and more resilient is a goal for nearly all health professionals, governments and citizens across the country.

Under the leadership of a Steering Committee representing many of the professions on the front line of health care in Canada, the EICP Initiative will determine if there are ways to get more out our health care system, by encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration among health professionals. Between January 2004 and March 2006, the Initiative will receive a $6.5 million contribution agreement from Health Canada’s Primary Health Care Transition Fund.

In the course of its work, the EICP team will ask: “How can the health system produce the best outcomes for patients/clients?” and “How do we create the conditions for health care providers to work together in the most effective and efficient way?” These are two of the most important questions facing primary health care today — they are also at the heart of the EICP Initiative.

Interdisciplinary collaboration has many faces in Canada and we have plenty of innovators in this country who are trying new arrangements that deliver significant benefits to practitioners and patients alike. Sometimes, just sharing an office encourages more collaboration. In other cases, health care teams involving physicians, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, dietitians, psychologists, pharmacists, and occupational therapists, coordinate their services, with the patient at the center. Sometimes collaboration is as simple as a referral from a family physician to a local social worker or speech-language pathologist. In all these arrangements, patients have access to a wider range of skills and services, and they can get to the right professional and the right services, at the right time. Collaboration also tends to allow for a greater emphasis on preventative approaches and health promotion.

Project Governance


The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from 10 national associations and coalitions. The Committee is responsible for the Initiative to Health Canada. The Conference Board of Canada manages the Initiative on behalf of the Steering Committee.

Key Features


The ultimate goal for the EICP Initiative is the development of a set of principles and a framework that will help all those involved in primary health care – practitioners, health associations, regulators, educators, governments and patients – work together in positive and constructive ways.

The EICP Initiative will feature:

  • Traditional and non-traditional research projects;

  • Consultations with health care providers, patients, governments, regulators, and academics;

  • Workshops and activities focused on the “human side” of change;

  • Formal and informal outreach to national, provincial, regional and local health organizations;

  • On-line and in-person interaction, via consultations, the web site and surveys, with interested individuals, groups and organizations;

  • A focus on prevention and health promotion in the context of collaboration; and

  • Knowledge transfer, via workshops, shared tools and experiences, and the final framework and principles.

The Initiative has a detailed work plan that charts its course over the remaining 18 months.

Key Deliverables


Specifically, the EICP Initiative will deliver:

  • A set of principles and a framework that will enhance the prospects and options for more collaborative care in settings across the country;
  • Research about best practices and the state of collaborative care in Canada;
  • Tools to help primary health care providers work together more effectively; and
  • Recommendations that will help the public, provincial/territorial governments, regional health authorities, regulators, private insurers and educators embrace and implement the principles and framework.

 
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