Modeling best practices in chronic disease management: the Arthritis Program at Southlake Regional Health Centre
Researchers, hospital administrators and governments are striving to define competencies in interprofessional care and education, as well as to identify effective models in chronic disease management. For more than 25 years The Arthritis Program (TAP) at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, has actively practiced within these two interrelated priorities, which are now at the top of the healthcare agenda in Ontario and Canada. The approximately 135 different rheumatic conditions are the primary cause of long-term disability in Canada, affecting those from youth to the senior years, with an economic burden estimated at $4.4 billion (CAD$) annually, and growing. For the benefit of healthcare managers and their clients with chronic conditions, this article discusses TAP's history and demonstrable success, predicated on an educational model of patient self-management and self-efficacy. Also outlined are TAP's contributions in supporting evidence-based best practices in interprofessional collaboration and chronic disease management; approaches that are arguably understudied and under-practiced. Next steps for TAP include a larger role in empirical research in chronic-disease management and integration of a formal training program to benefit health professionals launching or expanding their interprofessional programs using TAP as the dynamic clinical example.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224289