The Scarborough Hospital’s (TSH) Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) Clinic was among seven models chosen from more than 30 submissions by the Health Care Innovation Working Group’s (HCIWG) Federal/Provincial/Territorial Team-Based Models Task Force to be highlighted at their recent Team-Based Models Summit in Ottawa and in a summary report.
Models with enhanced roles for pharmacists or paramedics were selected based on eight principles developed by HCIWG, such as patient-centred care, the potential to adopt the models in other jurisdictions, and innovation. With the support of the GAIN Team and Pharmacy management at TSH, Pharmacists Freda Leung, Natalie Chan, and Rachel Wong worked together to prepare the submission.
Upon being selected to present at the summit, the GAIN Clinic was recognized by Dr. Bob Bell, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, who wrote in a letter to the clinic:
“Your collaborative, interprofessional approach to caring for frail seniors is an excellent example of the health care innovation that Ontario is committed to fostering.”
The GAIN clinic was also one of four participants in a panel discussion on the challenges of implementing team-based care, where Chan and Wong urged all health care providers to extend their work beyond the traditional boundaries of their profession.
“At the GAIN clinic, we take off our pharmacist hats and consider what could best help the patient beyond medicine,” says Chan. “For example, when a senior complains of insomnia, we teach the senior about sleep journaling and the importance of tracking eating and sleeping patterns in order to examine their lifestyle – with the goal of reducing medication by eliminating the need for sleeping pills.”
The focus of the summit was to facilitate the transfer of knowledge, with participants representing a diverse range of stakeholders, including government representatives, patient groups, academia, regional health authorities, various national health professions, pharmacists, and paramedic associations.