Optimizing Scopes of Practice: new models of care for a new health care system – Canadian Academy of Health Sciences – 15 May 2014
Conclusion from the report
“Increased flexibility around scopes of practice and models of care is required to meet the changing population health needs and the diversity represented in communities across Canada. To determine optimal scopes of practice, clearly defined roles and tasks are best delineated at the local practice level relative to community needs and resources. Enabling greater flexibility requires an approach that takes into consideration changes over the course of a health professional’s career, including skills development, certification processes, skills mix, and professional interests. For such changes to be adopted and scaled up over time, there needs to be both a systematic, evidence-based approach to furthering individual- and team-level accountability and a new balance between regulated individual practice and the accreditation of collaborative care arrangements. This is best afforded through the alignment of education, regulation, and funding models to optimize health professional scopes of practice. It is this collaborative practice model that must have the flexibility to best utilize the scopes of practice of team members within an accountable and regulated environment in the context of patient, community, and population health care needs.
In summary, the proposed recommendations provide a blueprint for action to align optimal scopes of practice with innovative models of care through educational, legal, regulatory, economic, and evaluative structures. Consideration and adoption of the recommendations will require time and cooperation from all stakeholders. The ultimate goal is for the transformation of scopes of practice and models of care to enable the future health care system to best meet the needs of Canadians.”