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Multidisciplinary Collaborative Primary Maternity Care

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National Envelope - National Strategy on Collaborative Care

Lead and Partner Organization(s) :

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada; with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN); Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM); Canadian Nurses Association; College of Family Physicians of Canada; Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

Approved Contribution :

$2,000,000.00

Summary :

Multidisciplinary collaborative models can substantially increase the capacity of our health care system to successfully face the shortages of maternity care professionals (physicians, midwives and nurses) that have been developing over more than a decade. However, some barriers have limited their development, including regulatory issues and restrictions in scope of practice. This initiative aimed to reduce these barriers and facilitate the implementation of national multidisciplinary collaborative strategies to increase the availability and quality of maternity services for all Canadian women. Specifically, this initiative aimed to: 1) develop guidelines for multidisciplinary collaborative care models; 2) determine current national standards for terminology and scopes of practice; 3) harmonize standards and legislation; 4) increase collaboration among professionals; 5) change practice patterns; 6) facilitate information sharing; and 7) promote the benefits of multidisciplinary collaborative maternity care. Under the guidance of a national committee and through an extensive consultation process, the Multidisciplinary Collaborative Primary Maternity Care Project (MCP2) developed guidelines and tools to support policy-makers and health professionals. Examples include a descriptive analysis of the maternity care system and collaborative models of care in five European countries and Australia; review of provincial and territorial legislation from each jurisdiction regulating family physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives; and guidelines for multidisciplinary collaborative maternal and newborn care teams, which present a framework for action and include seven knowledge transfer modules to facilitate changes in practice patterns. These resources are available on the initiative’s website, New window MCP2. Throughout its life, MCP2 encouraged participants’ reflection on the options for change. Many professionals strongly agreed with the key elements of collaborative practice identified by the initiative, including mutual respect and trust, shared goals, informed choice, professional competence and collegial relationships among team members. A large majority also agreed that there is a need for a pan-Canadian maternity care strategy responsible for planning multidisciplinary collaborative care. To this end, MCP2 proposed the establishment of a pan-Canadian network that would be responsible for promoting a coordinated vision and facilitating the implementation of collaborative care models.

This initiative was supported by the Primary Health Care Transition Fund. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the federal government. The above information was prepared on the basis of the initiative’s final report, in consultation with its author.