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ITC approach boosting health outcomes for First Nations people

Since 2015 the HNECC PHN has commissioned the Integrated Team Care (ITC) program to provide services to First Nations people with complex chronic health conditions.

An evaluation of a key health initiative underpinned by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap has found the program is achieving its desired outcome of improving life outcomes experienced by Indigenous Australians.

The program aims to:

  • Contribute to improving health outcomes through access to care coordination, multidisciplinary care, and support for self-management.
  • Improve access to culturally appropriate mainstream primary care providers (including but not limited to general practice, allied health and specialists) for First Nations people.

Key findings of the evaluation undertaken by Nama Jalu Consulting show the ITC program is highly regarded by all stakeholders and clients overwhelmingly reported the importance of the program and the multifaceted impact it had on their lives.

The evaluation found clients highly valued the program and reported having their medical, physical, social, emotional, and cultural needs met. Stakeholders reported the program supported clients to increase their ability to treat and manage their health conditions with clients experiencing increases in overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life as a result.

The program was seen to be especially effective for clients living with diabetes, a chronic health condition common to many First Nations people, that was often successfully managed and even reversed for some participants.

Clients who were living with multiple chronic health conditions also extracted maximal benefits from the ITC program as they are a cohort with critical need for care coordination and support.

Strong relationships marked by clear and flowing communication between all stakeholders involved in program delivery were identified as the key enablers for optimal client experience and outcomes.

The evaluation also identified several opportunities to refine and strengthen the ITC program including:

  • An update to ITC program guidelines.
  • Increased focus on the goal of self-management.
  • The possibility of a tiered program structure.
  • Advocating for more affordable and accessible healthcare services.
  • Further enhanced communications
  • An increase in cultural safety.

Download the full evaluation report..

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Community First Nations Health Worker / AMS Health Professionals

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