The GiiC initiative developed an interprofessional network of health professionals from across the province to help their organizations in the role of GiiC Facilitators. Physicians, advanced practice nurses, nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists nominated to represent their Family Health Team or Community Health Center as GiiC facilitators. The key selection criteria we suggested for recommending FHT/CHC facilitators were personal interest, breadth of clinical experience, acceptance by your colleagues and, perhaps ideally, the qualities of an informal opinion leader. Informal opinion leaders are individuals to whom others often turn for advice – they like answering questions, seem to stay up to date on a wide range of topics and communicate in a down to earth and humanitarian way. GiiC facilitators took 16 hours of training with our team of GiiC consultants who also served as coaches to support them during the return to their organization for a period of 3-4 months. Each facilitator ws invited to a follow-up meeting and to the annual meetings of the staff of the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario, held in Toronto in the Spring, in order to share experiences, build bridges to the provinces specialized geriatric services. A GiiC toolkit provided a range of tools on 27 dimensions of geriatrics and on interprofessional practice and interorganizational collaboration. For each dimension there are Quick Facts, Practice Aids, Practice Algorithms, Quizzes, Patient Handouts, Teaching Case Studies, Slide Materials and Reference materials, designed to help in the facilitator role. The toolkit continues to be available and now all users who have have opened a membership, can download the GiiC resources.
What was required from GiiC facilitators ? We learned that there are no two FHTs or CHCs the same and that each organization responds to the needs of its frail seniors in diverse ways. Similarly, we anticipated that there will be a range of opportunities for faciltiators to implement GiiC processes in their organization. Some were working in organizations that want to introduce big changes in the care of frail seniors, while many were working in organizations that are already going through significant developmental change. Whether big or small, we consdiered each instance in which faciltrators used the toolkit to help their team a significant success. We know that big things often come from small beginnings and that it is hard to tell ahead of time which small beginning that might be. We evaluated the project and part of the evaluation, having teams complete a perceptions of teamwork survey and network analyses and its interorganizational collaborations, will itself be an intervention to help the team in these areas. We call this approach to measuring and teaching ‘edumetrics’. With all of this in mind , GiiC facilitation might include some or all of the following activities: Clinical geriatrics activities Informal opinion leadership on geriatrics issues Periodic reviews of geriatric practices Coaching of clinical knowledge to practice activities Liaison with formal geriatrics experts Able to recommend context specific assessment tools Inter-professional practice activities Annual survey of team member perceptions of the team Coordination and facilitation of quarterly team process meetings Facilitate reflection on issues of team performance Facilitate teamwork problem solving Coordination of inter-professional mentoring for new staff Inter-organizational collaboration activities Annual inter-organizational network analysis and expectation surveys Identification of inter-organizational boundary management functions Facilitation of annual and ad hoc meetings of the inter-organizational network Network feedback process analyses for quality improvement initiatives Problem solving inter-organizational issues and concerns But most of all keep in mind, that we are were very grateful for everyones interest in our project.