The Innovation Support Unit

Please describe your organizations goals or aims related to the improvement of primary care.
The ISU seeks to improve the health of British Columbians by supporting innovation and improvement in primary care. We accomplish this by collaborating with primary care programs and projects and by connecting faculty from UBCs Department of Family Practice to these projects. The ISU helps apply evidence, and develops new services, knowledge, and programs while actively improving the project’s chances for success by leveraging our unique expertise and position at UBC as an academic health systems partner.

The goals of the ISU are:

  1. To collaborate with active primary care innovation programs and community projects to discover areas for transformation and to support the implementation of effective transformation processes in practice.
  2. To assist with current team based primary care transformations in BC to help ensure these changes result in an improved, sustainable and successful transformation that benefits British Columbians
  3. To spread effective learnings, tools, and services within BC and also internationally
  4. To position the Department of Family Practice as an essential partner in a high quality, sustainable primary care system in BC.

Please describe your relationship with the BC-PHCRN related to primary care research.
The ISU and the BC-PHCRN have an expanding collaborative relationship that seeks to leverage each partners’ strengths for the betterment of primary care. Recently, the ISU engaged with the BC-PHCRN Advisory Committee and Patient Advisory in a prioritization exercise to inform evaluation planning for Primary Care Networks as part of a learning cycle with the Ministry of Health. Currently, we are working with the BC-PHCRN to explore expanding the ISU’s team mapping and Primary and Community Care mapping (PACC Mapping) methods to include the integration of CPCSSN data into the selection and adaptation of clinical personas. This will be used in facilitated mapping activities that will inform primary care strategies for the planning and coordination of Primary Care and may also be applied to the planning and management of COVID-19 at the practice and community level.

What are the key messages that your organization would like to share with other stakeholders (e.g. clinicians, policymakers, patients) about primary care in BC?
Primary care is actively changing in BC. There is increasing awareness of the importance of robust primary care in achieving many of the strategic goals for the health system. This has resulted in a series of programs being implemented with the expectation of improvements in access, attachment, and quality of primary care.

There are several team-based care initiatives that are currently active in BC including Patient Medical Homes, a strong move to team-based care clinics, and Primary Care Networks, community level structures to support and implement team-based care. These structures, if well implemented and adopted have the potential to improve primary care. The ISU has been engaged by the Ministry to support this work and other areas of primary care improvement that are actively being pursued.

There is a need to support all of these changes with evidence, research and focused evaluation to ensure that the changes are effective and result in improvements in health for British Columbians. This work will contribute to the development of a learning healthcare system in primary care.