What is CORelink?

CORe LINK CANADA-Low Risk Obstetrical Shared-Care Clinics

CORe Link is an innovative program that proposes a hybrid model of care for women of low obstetrical risk and their care providers.

Providing high quality and accessible low risk obstetrical care to women and families is a challenge for many communities. There is a decreasing number of specialists, Midwives and Family Physicians, who are providing intrapartum care and a growing number of families seeking care. Although some provinces in Canada have legislated midwifery to help serve this population, there are still provinces that have been unable to successfully implement a midwifery program that will appropriately suit existing health care structures. Family physicians, the traditional providers of low risk obstetrics, continue to leave this aspect of care due, in large measure, to the lack of a sustainable model of practice. These issues cause an enormous gap between need for access and supply of care providers.

Recognizing some of the common problems related to low risk obstetrical practice between family physicians and midwives, the Chief of Family Practice and I embarked on a lengthy process to develop a program which harnessed the unique skills and expertise of both professions, while creating sustainable and high quality service delivery and educational opportunities for both trainees and practitioners. CORe LINK (Collaborative Obstetrical Resource LINK) was developed using the fundamental principles and framework of these original findings. The concept of CORe LINK is as a multi-centred organization with the creation of several low risk obstetrical clinics across the country.

The pilot site for CORe LINK, Maternity CORe, has opened in the Family Health Centre of Toronto East General Hospital with a complement of 4 family physicians and 4 midwives. The program will include prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care for pregnant women and their families. It will also serve as a high quality educational and training venue for family medicine and midwifery residents.

CORe LINK will also engage in ongoing data collection and evaluation for low risk obstetrical primary care projects. Data collected from these evaluations will provide a framework for future research. This model will strive to provide improved access to high caliber and appropriate care to pregnant women and their families, with the expectation of excellent health outcomes.