The Health Hub Project NZ is a break from the traditional approach to community general practice. It will develop and use both new and re-designed healthcare processes and systems - multidisciplinary care teams, professional collaboration internally and externally, and a culture of practice, overall, which is proactive and inclusive, respectful and supportive. In the words of North American Health reformers, Porter and Lee (2013), the Health Hub Project will implement into practice a strategic new value agenda for healthcare practice:
- The focus is on population health, and health education, on-site and in the community;
- The value strategy is quality health care with measurable outcomes for patients, which the patients and the country can afford; and
- The approach is to employ a high-value outcomes-oriented health delivery system, and integrated health organisation design.
In February 2014, IRCNZ (Nolan, Nolan, and Hill 2014) proposed the development of a new, not-for-profit charitable trust, population health care centre for Palmerston North, the Manawatu, and Horowhenua, named the Health Hub Project NZ (2). The Proposal was in response to the following two drivers for health reform and innovation:
- The Government’s Better Sooner More Convenient Primary Care policy (2008), and the NZ Primary Health Care Strategy - PHCS (2011), to improve the health of enrolled populations, nationally; and
- Nationally and internationally sourced health research findings and health practice developments, which demonstrate that patient centred, integrative and multidisciplinary health practice produces better health outcomes than at present, and at a cost that is affordable for both patients and those funding health care (Porter & Lee, 2013).
The Health Hub Project initiative starts with a clean slate; neither is it a colocation of existing GP-practices, wanting to amalgamate, nor does it conform to conventional conceptions of practice(3). As such, the initiative invites individuals and groups, health professionals and the public alike who are:
- Passionate to do better in health care, and
- Willing to practice medical and health care in ways that many health professionals have wanted to do for a long time
This TED Talk is well worth watching.
The ideas Eric Dishman advocates for approaching health care in teams, that is, multidisciplinary teams that include the 'patient' and family as part of the team and its solution, EXACTLY expresses the ideas of the Health Hub Project.