A collaborative approach to a chronic care problem:
Impact stories from the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration

Impact-Story-Western-HealthCanadians are living with more risk factors for chronic disease than ever before. Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), congestive heart failure and mental illness are challenging traditional healthcare delivery models, which are not designed to address long-term and complex health conditions.

The burden of chronic disease, combined with an aging population, is forcing a shift in the way healthcare is delivered. And making the shift is challenging, especially with finite financial resources and limited capacity to undertake the necessary improvements.

In 2012, Atlantic Regional Health Authorities came together with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) to implement patient- and family-centred approaches to chronic disease prevention and management. With the endorsement of the four provincial health departments, the partners forged the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement in Chronic Disease (AHC).

The collaboration supported 11 interprofessional team-led improvement projects. What follows are impact stories from five of the health region teams involved, outlining the challenges they faced, the solutions they developed and the resulting improvements in how care is organized for patients and families in Atlantic Canada.