What is The BETTER Program™?

Developed by primary care providers for primary care settings, the BETTER Program™ focuses on prevention and screening of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and associated lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol). A health professional within the primary care setting is trained to take on the role of a Prevention Practitioner, a resource to the practice with expertise in prevention and screening.

This prevention expert works collaboratively with patients and through shared decision-making and S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based) goal setting, develops a unique, personalized “Prevention Prescription” with each patient. This role can be undertaken by any clinician or allied health professional linked to primary care.

Our approach has been shown to improve patient chronic disease prevention and screening outcomes by 37%.

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Why choose the BETTER program?

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The Canadian Preventive Task Force on Preventive Health Care identifies the BETTER Program as one of the more appropriate approaches to delivering preventive services.

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The Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) Implementation Kit, developed for Canadian Provinces by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in collaboration with each Provincial College of Family Physicians, identifies the BETTER program as a primary care practice tool to help physicians and their teams move towards PMH principles by enhancing patient screening through evidence-based recommendations.

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Minister of Health and Community Services, Mr. John Haggie, announces the launch of The BETTER Program in Newfoundland and Labrador as part of his Chronic Disease Action Plan in order to address key priorities outlined in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Are you a patient participating in BETTER WISE? You can complete your survey here:

Complete the BETTER WISE Survey

Become a BETTER Prevention Practitioner™

A BETTER Prevention Practitioner™ is a healthcare professional working in, or directly linked with, primary care who, through training provided by the BETTER Prevention Practitioner Training Institute, develops enhanced skills in cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening, becoming a resource to their practice setting.

Prevention Practitioners come from many backgrounds, including nursing, dietetics, pharmacy, and kinesiology. All health care professionals with a link to primary care can be successful in this role.

“This needs to be a permanent part of Health Care. Preventative care before health issues get out of hand. If I had been seeing a [Prevention Practitioner] I would not have the chronic illness now without question. She would have picked up issues long before they became a serious problem.”
Patient, Newfoundland & Labrador
“The ideal is prevention to begin with. You’re going to prevent a lot of secondary and tertiary need for prevention down the road, particularly with diabetes, heart disease, if you can prevent that from happening to begin with, then we won’t need to have clinics for people who have complications from diabetes or complications from heart disease. So if you get it from the ground up, then it’s certainly beneficial to the patients, but also the health care system in general.”
Primary Care Manager, Newfoundland & Labrador
“This program should be more readily available on a more ongoing basis, but if it is impossible for doctors specifically to implement these methods, a more ’team effort’ should be applied between doctor and practitioner…These methods should be implemented in the medical community as it would, in my opinion, promote a healthier society as a whole.”
Patient, Newfoundland & Labrador

Want to learn more about differing perspectives on The BETTER Program? Read our publications

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