Have we moved the goalposts?


An interview with Shared Care Committee Co-Chairs, Dr. Gordon Hoag (Doctors of BC) and Marilyn Copes (Ministry of Health), sheds light on how evolving goals and priorities may be impacting those of you engaged in Shared Care work, or contemplating involvement in the future.

There's a sense things are changing in Shared Care, especially for Partners in Care and Transitions in Care. Is this true? 

Yes, as we grow in experience and knowledge, change has been inevitable. Shared Care has learned a lot over the past ten years and we are incorporating those learnings and feedback from physicians and team members to the fundamental concepts of continuous quality improvement. Our approach has changed, but the fundamentals remain the same – a commitment to innovation and partnering for local solutions to local issues.

Questions raised

However, with more than 200 projects now completed or underway, the Shared Care Committee is seeing many similarities across projects, in addition to unique elements in others.  Questions inevitably come up - “How do we make sure we don’t continually reinvent the wheel in our initiatives, while also allowing flexibility to tailor solutions for each community?  Also “how do we partner for greater synergy?”

Our capacity

With Shared Care’s mandate and modest funding envelope, we lack the capacity to support ongoing programs. This means that we have to identify and really understand the benefits and lessons learned from the work and how it is making a difference to patients, families and providers. This understanding helps us to develop strategies to sustain and spread what we’ve learned across communities. 

So yes – things are changing as one would expect over time, but the essence of Shared Care remains the same.    


What do these changes mean in practical terms?

As we focus on the key elements of Shared Care work, we’re revisiting how we work with physicians to develop ideas into projects, and better position ourselves to succeed. We’re also looking at getting an earlier and more comprehensive sense of the project concept, while also keeping the process as simple as possible.

For PiC and TiC, this updating involves clarifying our overall objectives and funding principles, as well as developing some simple templates and incorporating the committee’s new evaluation framework. We’ll be sharing these with current physician leads and project managers and asking for feedback at a workshop this Fall. 

Invited partnerships

Spread and sustainability are also two distinct aspects of Shared Care work that we're focusing on. We're inviting communities involved in similar areas of focus, or interested in becoming involved, to collaborate on some innovative thinking here – especially around spread.  It’s part of that balancing act we spoke of earlier – ensuring locally appropriate solutions, but making sure we’re leveraging successes as much as possible.

We really want to thank you for your patience, input and support as we work through these changes. We're looking forward to continuing to partner and innovate together as Shared Care continues to evolve.