Improving Primary Care for all Canadians
Each year, 90 per cent of Canadians visit a primary care provider—a family physician, nurse, social worker, dietician or pharmacist; each month, 20 per cent of us see at least one of these workers.
We already know much more about which approaches work best in primary care because of the research of Dr. Moira Stewart, Canada Research Chair in Primary Health Care Research. Through her research, she creates new ways of managing patient problems in primary care settings, and tests whether these new approaches work.
Stewart has found that patients rarely come to a primary care office with only one problem. She has shown that addressing all of a patient’s multiple problems as a whole is better for the patients' recovery than addressing each problem individually.
As Chair, Stewart has also tested new ways in which primary care and home care providers can work together to decrease the number of times a patient needs to be hospitalized or visit an emergency department.
Her research draws on information gathered from patients' electronic medical records, from patients themselves, and from their care providers to answer questions about how best to improve primary health care.
Because primary care involves such a large number of Canadians each year, it has a direct effect on the health of Canadians. The results of Stewart's research, therefore, will benefit all Canadians each time they visit their doctor’s office, pharmacy, social worker or hospital.