by Sophia C. Caranay-Narag, MD, MBA and Madeline Mae A. Ong, MD, MBA
The Ateneo de Manila University Center for Health Evidence, Action, and Leadership, through the Newton Fund funded iPRIME Study, has recently conducted a pilot implementation of an innovative module on Team Leadership and Health Facility Management for primary care teams. The pilot implementation was conducted last 15-17 October 2019 at the Municipality of Bobon in the Province of Northern Samar.
The Ateneo de Manila University Center for Health Evidence, Action, and Leadership (AHEALS), through the Newton Fund funded iPRIME Study, has recently conducted a pilot implementation of an innovative module on Team Leadership and Health Facility Management for primary care teams. The pilot implementation was conducted on 15-17 October 2019 in the Municipality of Bobon in the Province of Northern Samar.
The iPRIME Study team, under the guidance of Dr Manuel Dayrit of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) and Prof Andrew Hassel and Dr Lisa Dikomitis of Keele University, conducted an ethnographic study on the competencies and learning needs of primary care physicians in remote rural Philippines. The study found that primary care physicians working in remote rural areas have unique non-clinical learning needs brought about by their myriad roles and geographic challenges. Physicians in these settings primarily require training on non-clinical topics and skills such as politics in healthcare, financial management, human resource management, and facility management, among others. Because their learning needs are very distinct, it is difficult for them to receive the training that they require; and should there be training available, it is often outside of their area of practice such that they have to leave for days at a time at the expense of the delivery of healthcare services.
These findings became the jump off point upon which a primary care physician Competency Map and, subsequently, training modules were developed. The modules were designed so that they are self-directed and workplace-based; the learning materials and tools easy to understand and utilised without the guidance of the module developers. This makes the modules a significantly more feasible and sustainable method of training, as learning is not conducted at a distant venue nor dependent on an external instructor.
In the pilot implementation of the Team Leadership and Health Facility modules for primary care teams, the learning activities were designed to be interactive – doing away with the standard didactic method. The activities were composed of games, group discussions, role playing, and video viewing. These activities were done as a team and were facilitated by the primary care physician. This mode of instruction created a more conducive space for discourse and learning within the health team and resulted in more engaged and motivated learners.
The iPRIME primary care physician Competency Map is composed of a total of eight areas that cover managerial, leadership, regulatory, ethical, clinical, and public health competencies, among others. In addition to the modules on Team Leadership and Health Facility Management, several other modules can be developed in order to respond to the entirety of the learning needs of the countries frontline primary care providers.
iPRIME is the short name of the AHEALS-Newton Fund project entitled Transforming Primary Healthcare in the Philippines: An Innovative Pilot Postgraduate Professional Development Program for Primary Physicians in the Province of Northern Samar.