SCOPE as a Platform for Care Integration and System Transformation
By: Dr. Pauline Pariser, Haley Gush, Dr. Noah Ivers, and Dr. Steve Pomedli.
Strong primary care plays a foundational role in a high-functioning health system. Primary care is the main entry point to the healthcare system for patients, but in many health systems, the majority of primary care practices and physicians are functionally disconnected from, and not meaningfully integrated with, specialist care, hospital resources or team-based allied professionals. Here, we detail how a grassroots program in the Greater Toronto Area, known as SCOPE (Seamless Care Optimizing the Patient Experience), has worked to build and grow a community of practice among physicians who were previously “unaffiliated” to provide streamlined access to specialist care and virtual team-based resources. Notably, through purposeful engagement efforts, this community of practice has led to new patient-facing initiatives that respond to primary care needs. This improved integration of primary care with both hospital-based resources and specialty services, along with the initiation of new services that address population needs, demonstrates the value of this type of purposeful engagement to develop a primary care community of practice.