McMaster study on collaborative health care gets federal funding

Mari-Len De Guzman
February 25, 2014
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Feb. 25, 2014 — The federal government is allocating $6.5 million to fund a project led by McMaster University to study the use of team-based care as a way to achieve better health outcomes for patients and make the system more cost effective.
The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams on behalf of Health Minister Rona Ambrose, last week during a visit to the Hamilton, Ont.-based university.

The project, Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (TAPESTRY), will examine how changing the way a primary health-care team operates and interacts with its patients can improve the quality and efficiency of primary healthcare services. By integrating resources such as community volunteers, eHealth technologies and system navigation, the project will support patient-centred care and stronger connections to community services.

"Innovation is critical to improving the efficiency of the health-care system but also to helping Canadians maintain good health. This project is looking at innovative ways that health professionals can work together to provide care to Canadians," said Adams.

The TAPESTRY project is expected to provide valuable information regarding ways to increase access to primary health-care services. The initiative aims to generate evidence and develop tools to assist provincial and territorial governments in addressing ongoing primary health-care challenges.

"We're finding ways to combine the personal touch of community volunteerism and the latest technologies to improve primary health care. The TAPESTRY project will connect citizens with their health-care team to encourage early identification of potential health problems. This is important for Canadians and for the efficiency of our health-care system," said Dr. David Price professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University.

The Canadian government invests more than $1 billion annually on health-care research. It has also increased health transfers to the provinces and territories to unprecedented levels, according to the federal healthy ministry, adding that this funding will continue to grow to $40 billion by the end of the decade.

"The TAPESTRY project is an ideal platform for advancing patient health through collaboration. Combined with access to evidence-based information, such as through the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, Canadian citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers we'll be able to make informed decisions and support older adults to remain healthy and engaged as long as possible," said Dr. Susan Denburg
director of the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative and associate vice-president, faculty of health sciences at McMaster.

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