The Power of the Prescription!
What if you could write a prescription to your patients that would prevent 5.3 million premature deaths each year, eliminate the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality, save $10 billion in Canadian healthcare expenditures each year and reduce the risks for developing chronic conditions (e.g., coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes), that account for over 60% of all deaths worldwide? Would you prescribe it?
The treatment is a written prescription for physical activity called Prescription To Get Active!
The RxTGA program recognizes that assessing physical activity is as important as addressing vital signs, yet fewer than 16% of outpatient visits include physical activity education. It is a standard of care to ask patients at every visit about smoking, assess their BMI and check blood pressure, but physical activity is often missed.
Ask every patient, every time.
Developed in 2011 as a health promotion initiative to encourage physical activity in sedentary Albertans, Prescription To Get Active (RxTGA) uses the influence and motivational power of a written prescription to encourage at risk patients to become more physically active with the aim of improving overall health and quality of life, reducing the risk of premature death.
Prescriptions are available to patients of all ages who have a primary care doctor. In Alberta, RxTGA is operating in partnership with 27 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that account for approximately 80% of Alberta's primary care physicians. These PCNs have partnered with more than 167 local recreation facilities by leveraging existing community resources to work with patients within their community to offer introductions to the facility to further support these patients to overcome common barriers to participation.
To date, this program is available to approximately 2.2 million patients and is attributed to the inter-disciplinary collaboration of more than 2,700 PCN physicians and 600 allied healthcare professionals.
The Alberta Primary Health Care Strategy's vision of the p is “to support Albertans to be as healthy as they can be”. Always add physical activity assessments while you measure vital signs. It may be the most important prescription you can write.
You do not need to be an expert in physical activity counselling and you only need two minutes to:
Ask: “Are you doing anything for physical activity in your day?”
Assess: “How many minutes of physical activity do you do each day or each week?” If below activity guidelines of 60min/day for children or 150 min/week for adults then;
Advise: “Have you heard of Prescription To Get Active?”
For further program information or if you are interested in receiving an RxTGA physician toolkit, contact us at: email@example.com.