Background: Older persons are often poorly served by existing models of community-based primary health care (CBPHC). We sought input from clients, informal caregivers, and health care providers on recommendations for system improvements.
Methods: Focus group interviews were held with clients, informal caregivers, and health care providers in mid-sized urban and rural communities in Ontario. Data were analyzed using a combination of directed and emergent coding. Results were shared with participants during a series of feedback sessions.
Results: An extensive list of barriers, facilitators, and recommended health system improvements was generated. Barriers included poor system integration and limited access to services. Identified facilitators were person and family-focused care, self-management resources, and successful collaborative practice. Recommended system improvements included expanding and integrating care teams, supports for system navigation, and development of standardized information systems and care pathways.
Conclusions: Older adults still experience frustrating obstacles when trying to access CBPHC. Identified barriers and facilitators of improved system integration aligned well with current literature and Wagner’s Chronic Care Model. Additional work is needed to implement the recommended improvements and to discern their impact on patient and system outcomes.