Edmonton Change Program adoption reaches self-sustainability

The Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network (EOPCN) has reached the milestone we’ve all been anticipating. We’re pleased to share that the EOPCN’s adoption of the CHANGE Program is the first to reach self-sustainability!

The EOPCN’s latest innovation in chronic disease management came in their unique implementation of the CHANGE Program. With the goal of reversing metabolic syndrome and preventing related chronic illnesses in mind, the EOPCN is offering one-on-one and group coaching from a team of medical professionals in conjunction with inventive resource management and a new approach to progress tracking for patients.

As of March 2016, over 100 patients have enrolled in the year-long CHANGE Program, which will equip them with the tools needed to make lasting, long term revisions to diet and exercise. The EOPCN has introduced a lifestyle passport, intended to track a patient’s progress as they attend group physical activity classes, or learn from a professional in the EOPCN in-house training gyms.

Success in the CHANGE Program stretches beyond physical activity and moves into a patient’s overall lifestyle. Personally tailored diets, professionally-lead grocery store tours and even cooking demonstrations in both group and individual settings has resulted in incredible participant feedback at the EOPCN.

This holistic approach to healthcare, one that goes beyond a prescription or a Band-Aid fix, stemmed from early successes for patients and the EOPCN that were simply too good to ignore.

“We really began to see the operational advantages of the CHANGE program,” says Colleen Enns, executive director at the EOPCN. “We began to think ‘how do we set up a program that is sustainable, has the same trajectory for patients, and maximizes staff resources?’”

Despite the noted healthcare successes and operational advantages, the full time, on-going adoption of CHANGE Program was not without its challenges. The team at EOPCN worked diligently to gain community funding and support, and to find efficiencies in healthcare provision that would still allow for the strong focus on patients.

“The result was a wonderful, purposeful approach to organizing resources,” Enns says of the CHANGE Program’s group training and cooking demonstrations that have been celebrated by patient and practitioner alike.

“There’s an economic case to be made for adopting this program, to modernizing the way we provide healthcare.”

Given the success of the CHANGE Program among patients with metabolic syndrome, the EOPCN has expanded their offering to those with other chronic illnesses. And, with the help of a proactive screening process, the EOPCN can identify high-risk patients who would benefit from the program. Involving seniors, providing in-house visits and even video conferencing between patient and physician are all within the purview for EOPCN’s next inevitable accomplishment.

New clinics are being accepted to adopt the CHANGE program across Canada. For more information, see Metabolic Syndrome Canada.