The vision for the future of primary care in British Columbia is team-based care (TBC)—a model where the patient is at the centre, and an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers collaborate to deliver comprehensive health services to meet the patient’s needs in a timely way.

As team-based primary care networks are being implemented across the province, UBC Health has been facilitating the development of a strategy to build and evaluate team-based models of care that could provide valuable learning for healthcare in BC. 

“With its breadth of health and health-related disciplines as well as health services on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses serving the needs of students and surrounding communities, UBC is well-positioned to bring together a range of partners to develop models that are truly collaborative, interdisciplinary, and innovative,” says Anne Martin-Matthews, Associate Vice-President, Health at UBC.

Team-based care is at the heart of UBC Health’s remit in interprofessional and collaborative health education and practice. Building on its long history of facilitating collaborations across health at UBC and beyond, UBC Health convened the TBC @ UBC collaborative to coordinate supports for team-based care across UBC and identify innovative opportunities for collaboration.

The work to advance team-based care must begin with how we’re training our learners. If we’re going to transform how healthcare in BC is delivered, we also need to change the ways in which we teach and train health professionals.

Earlier this year, TBC @ UBC invited internal partners from the university to a virtual retreat aimed at creating a collective vision for a team-based care learning environment at UBC. Participants included health professional programs, clinicians, researchers, library sciences, students, and community members.

“TBC @ UBC has evolved to be a large and diverse group, and it was important to bring everyone together to develop the group’s common vision and common goals,” says Joseph Anthony, Associate Dean, Health Professions in the Faculty of Medicine and member of TBC @ UBC. 

In preparation for the retreat, TBC @ UBC contributed to the development of an asset map that showcased the wide range of clinical, educational, research, and evaluation assets as well as expertise and relationships across UBC. During the visioning process, participants added to the asset map and discussed how to leverage those assets in contributing to the advancement of team-based care and education. The asset map is an iterative document and will grow and evolve through networking and collaboration as TBC @ UBC continues to engage a broader range of partners. 

During the retreat, the group identified core values and principles foundational to a team-based learning environment (see word cloud graphic). Participants also discussed specific language and terminology, purpose, and opportunities. One opportunity was a collaborative network of clinical spaces on campus (including a purpose-built team-based care clinic—read more about that soon!) to support collaborative education, exploration of team-based care delivery models, and research and implementation.

“We need to break down the healthcare silos. The work to advance team-based care must begin with how we’re training our learners,” says Lee Yeates, practicing midwife, co-lead of the Rural Obstetrics Network at the Rural Coordination Centre of BC, and member of TBC @ UBC. “If we’re going to transform how healthcare in BC is delivered, we also need to change the ways in which we teach and train health professionals, so they can become the practitioners and leaders that will shift the landscape of healthcare for the future. This is how we’ll build the foundation for team-based primary care in BC.”

Over the summer and early fall, TBC @ UBC has been working to synthesize the retreat, prepare a report, and create terminology, a vision statement, and priorities for action.

“The visioning retreat enabled us to collaborate on a vision that will be further refined as we work through some of the practical details,” says Dr. Anthony.

The visioning retreat was an important first step in what will be an ongoing engagement process to move towards a collective vision for how UBC can contribute to team-based primary care transformation within BC. The next step will be to engage with partners outside the university, including Indigenous partners, patient and community members, health authorities, and the BC government to facilitate alignment with provincial priorities and ensure a patient-centered focus. 

Learn more and explore the TBC Asset Map

UBC Health works under the auspices of the Office of the Vice-President, Health to enhance interdisciplinary health education, research, and systems by fostering collaboration across disciplines and faculties at both UBC campuses, as well as with institutions and government organizations around the province.

Posted November 16, 2020


  • Collaborative Health Education