Do you have patients with ongoing health conditions? A general practice management plan (GPMP) can help you take a coordinated approach to caring for this subset of patients. Developed under the Medicare Benefits Scheme to provide structure when caring for patients with chronic health conditions, GPMPs offer a number of benefits for practitioners and patients.
What is a GPMP?
A GPMP is a formal written plan created by the patient’s regular GP. It contains information about their health condition, treatment plan and goals. The plan can also include information about other allied health specialists who may be providing care to the patient.
Here are a few of the benefits GPMPs can bring about for patients.
Better understanding of their condition
When they have an understanding of their condition and the different options for treating it, patients are likely to feel more empowered. This can help them feel more in control and better able to manage their own treatment, which can in turn improve outcomes. Care plans are a good way to do this as they make sure patients are involved in each step, from developing the plan to reviewing it on a regular basis to make sure it is still relevant and useful.
More continuity of care
Because of the way a general practice management plan is structured, patients get more continuous focus on their care rather than a stop-start approach. To qualify for a GPMP, patients need to have been seeing their GP for a minimum time period, and they will need to continue to see their GP for regular follow-ups. This means that patients will receive care from the same GP and team of allied health professionals, giving them continuity of care and ongoing support.
Better coordination of care
Another advantage of GPMPs is that they support better coordination of different practitioners and allied health services. When multiple teams are needed to manage a condition, Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) can be useful. All the different facets of a patient’s treatment are laid out within their care plan, allowing for full transparency between the patient and their care providers.
A GPMP will include a patient’s healthcare needs, health issues and any other relevant conditions. It will also cover the management goals and actions for the patient, along with their ongoing treatment and services. This can alleviate situations where a patient takes a more ad hoc approach to treatment and ends up at the hospital or a medical centre when they take a turn for the worse.
Chronic diseases on the rise
Chronic conditions are increasing in Australia and all around the world. Now, more than ever it’s important for patients to have a coordinated approach to their care. This can help increase communication between practitioners and patients and ultimately improve outcomes.
It’s not just patients who benefit from GPMPs. With a coordinated and structured approach to patient care, practitioners can better manage the increased pressure of caring for these patients. A proactive approach to treatment can also help chronic conditions be managed before they become more serious, further reducing strain on the healthcare system.