We are one of the founding clinics of the Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network* – the first in the province, in 2005. We have several PCN staff on site, who provide multidisciplinary care.
The Alberta government set aside funds to create Primary Care Networks (PCNs), several years ago. The idea was to create a mechanism to provide funding for services that were not covered by Alberta Healthcare, and to improve the health of Albertans- especially those with chronic or complex illnesses.
Each Primary Care Network is independent, with its own Board of Directors, philospophy, and goals. The Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network (ESPCN) has a goal of integrating staff (for multidisciplinary care) at individual offices, as well as providing central services.
The funding is provided by the government per capita, rather than for each service provided. (The larger the panel of patients carried by the doctors, the more funds there are available to allocate to PCN staff salaries. )
At different points we have had the services of Registered Nurses (RNs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), dieticians, pharmacist, mental health coordinator, behavioural health consultant, respiratory therapists, exercise therapist, and psychiatrists. Over time we have had to make budgetary decisions based on our patient panel.
We currently have on site:
Nurse Practitioner: Donna P
Family Practice Nurse: Janelle S
Behavioural Health Consultant- Sadique P
Sessional psychiatric consultant- Dr Peter Silverstone.
Our Nurses manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension; do prenatal, cognitive and peripheral vascular assessments; help with smoking cessation; attend to wound care and injections; monitor hospital admissions and follow ups after discharge; triage medical issues over the telephone, and assess and treat medical issues.
Our Behavioural Health Consultant (BHC) focuses on addressing anxiety, stress and depression, using various strategies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, behavioural health modification, and accessing community resources.
Our Panel Management Assistant, collects statistics for the PCN and Alberta Health to measure the performance of PCN initiatives, and has helped us set up a flagging system for routine recommended screening programs for our patients. She keeps track of how well we are doing with screening. (Previously routine screening would be reviewed when patients presented for complete checkups. We are now setting up a series of reminders, to result in patients being called to come in when tests come due.)