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Additional info for Community-Oriented Primary Care: From Principle to Practice
Since the COPC literature in the last several years has described relatively well developed forms of COPC, many perceive a gulf between most current practices and the COPC practice model, which has, in turn, discouraged many potential COPC practitioners from taking the first steps. In reality, the transition to a COPC practice involves the addition of only two elements to a primary care practicea definition of the target population and the development of activities that systematically address the health problems of that population.
Although most clinicians are hesitant to join the competitive marketplace with overt marketing practices, COPC provides an acceptable strategy for defining a target population and reaching out to offer services that are truly needed. Third, in an educational setting, COPC offers the structure for defining and exploring the health problems of a population that leads to an appreciation of the breadth of common problems that present to a primary care practice. , incidence and prevalence) in the absence of a community to serve as a living laboratory is often discouraging.
The community may be complex and disorganized, consisting of many ethnic subgroups and political factions. In addition, the community may be served by a number of other primary care programs, making it difficult for the practitioner to distinguish his or her population from that of other practices, and calling into question the appropriateness of the practitioner assuming responsibility for the patients of another practice or program. In such cases, the COPC process might be started by targeting a community consisting of the active patients of the practice or a "practice community," consisting of the active patients and all members of their households.