The IMPACT clinic: innovative model of interprofessional primary care for elderly patients with complex health care needs.
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Problem addressedThe growing number of elderly patients with multiple chronic conditions presents an urgent challenge in primary care. Current practice models are not well suited to addressing the complex health care needs of this patient population.
Objective of programThe primary objective of the IMPACT (Interprofessional Model of Practice for Aging and Complex Treatments) clinic was to design and evaluate a new interprofessional model of care for community-dwelling seniors with complex health care needs. A secondary objective was to explore the potential of this new model as an interprofessional training opportunity.
Program descriptionThe IMPACT clinic is an innovative new model of interprofessional primary care for elderly patients with complex health care needs. The comprehensive team comprises family physicians, a community nurse, a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a dietitian, and a community social worker. The model is designed to accommodate trainees from each discipline. Patient appointments are 1.5 to 2 hours in length, during which time a diverse range of medical, functional, and psychosocial issues are investigated by the full interprofessional team.
ConclusionThe IMPACT model is congruent with ongoing policy initiatives in primary care reform and enhanced community-based care for seniors. The clinic has been pilot-tested in 1 family practice unit and modeled at 3 other sites with positive feedback from patients and families, clinicians, and trainees. Evaluation data indicate that interprofessional primary care models hold great promise for the growing challenge of managing complex chronic disease.
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