2004 07 01 Archive

Friday, July 30, 2004

I met with the Health Quality Council (HQC) last week to discuss the possibility of incorporating an Advanced Access program, similar to the one I observed in the UK, in Leader. The goal of Advance Access is to ensure that patients are able to see a primary care practioner within 24 hours of requesting an appointment, and to be able to see their GP within 48 hours. A more detailed description of Advanced Access can be found in one of my earlier blogs, or by clicking here.

A handful of practices across Saskatchewan have begun the process of implementing an Advanced Access program, including the Community Clinic in Saskatoon. With Leader now being designated a Primary Care site, the opportunity for an Advanced Access program is great. Unfortunately, summer is not the best time to begin implementing new programs, as many team members are away on holidays. We are hoping to begin the program implementation in early fall, and I will keep you updated.

Friday, July 23, 2004

We were very excited to hear that the Cypress Health Region has designated Leader as a Primary Care Site. This means there is funding for a Nurse Practioner (NP) position, and if all goes according to plan, the position will be filled by September. The intent is that the NP will work as a member of the health care team using their specialized skills in assisting the physicians manage patient loads, disease management and patient follow-up. We are very optimistic that with this new position will also come funding for the diabetes initiative I proposed in the spring. A nurse practioner would be an invaluable asset to the program, and allows for the potential development of “satellite” clinics in the neigbouring communities.

Regardless of the NP position being filled, we are hoping to begin the diabetes program in early September. Besides funding, one of the biggest challenges we are facing is the lack of information technology available to us. Ideally, we would like to create a comprehensive patient database that all team members could access and update when necessary. We, at the pharmacy, have obtained a database program, created by a pharmacist in British Columbia, that will allow for comprehensive patient follow-up, as well as allow us the ability to easily track outcomes. Unfortunately, the program will only be available in the pharmacy, and is therefore not accessible to the other team members. I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has any experience dealing with similar types of computer programs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I spent the week of July 5th-12th working at the Saskatchewan Lung Association’s Discovery Asthma Camp on Lake Diefenbaker. Many children are unable to attend summer camps because of their condition. Discovery Asthma Camp provides the controlled environment needed for these children with asthma. The camp is staffed by a team of medical staff who ensure campers’ asthma is being treated appropriately, and are capable of handling emergency situations should they arise. Camp counselors are generally health profession university students (physiotherapy, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, nutrition). Each staff member is trained in asthma management, and are dedicated to providing a week of fun in a safe environment.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I traded in the staff pharmacist position for a counselor role. After spending a week with two 11-year old and two 8-year old girls, I was ready for a holiday!

Information on the Saskatchewan Lung Association’s Asthma Camp can be found by clicking here.