How MAPS will impact the day-to-day for healthcare providers

The impact of the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Care System plan on daily clinic life:

The Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative is being implemented to strengthen the province’s primary healthcare delivery. The goal is to improve access to timely, appropriate primary healthcare services. If you work in primary healthcare in Alberta, the implementation of MAPS will change your day-to-day work. 

Here’s how MAPS will impact daily clinic routines and practices:

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1. Better balance with improved access to data and specialized expertise:

  • Integrated Care Networks (ICNs): Providers will belong to a multidisciplinary team comprised of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and other allied health professionals engaged in team-based care.
  • Collaborative Approach to Preventing Burnout: Structured collaboration across a range of healthcare professionals will ease the burden of care placed on each individual provider and facility.
  • Enhanced Communication: The plan aims to facilitate seamless data exchange and real-time communication among healthcare providers. This will be achieved by implementing digital collaboration platforms such as advanced EHRs and Brightsquid Secure-Mail.
  • Closing the Cracks in Care: More seamless care transitions through meetings, interoperable data exchange platforms, and case conferences. 

2. Flexibility for enhanced access to care:

  • Extended Hours and Virtual Care: Offering extended clinic hours and expanding virtual care options, including telehealth, is not intended to demand more provider time. Instead, the plan promotes the utilization of supports across Integrated Care Networks and flexibility of location with more remote virtual care.
  • Walk-In Clinics: MAPS introduces more options for after-hours access. It calls for more walk-in clinics to provide immediate care for non-emergency conditions, reducing wait times for patients and relieving pressure on clinics to stay open beyond regular hours.

3. Delegated and focused responsibility:

  • More Defined Roles: Working closely in interdisciplinary teams with nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and other allied health professionals creates more predictability in the kind of patient issues each provider can expect to address.
  • Streamlined Process: Established policies for responsibility across team members leads to more efficient patient management.

4. Technical Efficiency:

  • Data interoperability save lives: Increased use of advanced EHRs for documenting, and real-time access to, patient information will improve treatment decision making, outcomes, and patient safety.
  • Data interoperability saves time: Better access to patient information and specialist expertise through defined digital collaboration reduces admin time spent searching and collecting data.
  • Increased Options: Telehealth technology supports virtual visits that don’t require as much prep and cleaning as in-person appoinbtments.

5. Greater impact with Proactive and Chronic Disease Management:

  • Do more good with preventive care: Efficiencies created by the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Care System plan provide time for more preventive measures. You’ll be able to conduct more screenings, vaccinations, and health education.
  • Support long-term well-being: Implementation of more frequent follow-ups and team-supported management plans for patients with chronic conditions.

6. Provide more inclusive care:

  • Cultural Competence: Providers will need to enhance their understanding of cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic diversity to better serve all patient populations.
  • Equitable Access: Ensuring that services are accessible to marginalized and underserved communities, possibly involving outreach and community-based initiatives.

Achieving the changes proposed by MAPS:

It is clear that the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Care System rollout will impact daily clinic routines and practices. However, The goals of the MAPS program will not be reached overnight. Here are a few of the ways you can expect implementation to be supported:

1. Training and Professional Development:

  • Continuous Education: Ongoing training to stay updated on new technologies, care models, and best practices.
  • Skill Development: Developing new skills, particularly in digital health and team-based care approaches.

2. Patient Engagement:

  • Patient Communication: Improved communication strategies to engage patients in their care plans and decisions.
  • Education and Support: Providing more education and support to patients to help them take more responsibility for managing their health effectively.

3. Administrative Duties:

  • Documentation: Greater use of electronic systems for efficient patient records and care coordination.
  • Quality Improvement Initiatives: Participating in iterative quality assessment and planning initiatives to enhance care delivery and patient outcomes will be commonplace.

More integrated and functional primary care:

The impact of Alberta’s MAPS plan on daily clinic life is expected to be positive.

The Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System plan aims to create a more integrated, efficient, and patient-centered healthcare system. For healthcare providers, this means adapting to new care models, utilizing digital health technologies, and working collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams. These changes will enhance their ability to provide high-quality care, improve patient outcomes, and ensure that all Albertans have access to the healthcare services they need.