This three-year project established a primary care model in British Columbia that adopted an integrated multidisciplinary group approach to primary care. The seven project sites provided 24-hour/7-day-a-week access to medical care and access to a full range of care, including illness and injury prevention and health promotion. Changes included funding physicians on a capitated or population-based model, establishing quality-assurance mechanisms, extending hours of service, enhancing computerized systems, and integrating medical services with community services. The project offers lessons on how best to implement the often difficult change to primary care, including the insight that a staged implementation approach should be undertaken and that reorganizing physicians into a group practice takes a minimum of six months. It found improved job satisfaction for health care professionals and noted their satisfaction with the blended population-based funding formula.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.