PatientsFirst.ca data; thoughts on scopes of practice

August 19, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

Initial PatientsFirst.ca data

In May we launched a public survey on our PatientsFirst.ca website. Good information about what patients experience around the province is needed but lacking. We promised to report publicly on what patients tell us.

So far over 8,000 Albertans have taken our survey with more participating every day. The Board believes it’s really important to bring the patient’s voice to the table as we seek to find a way through the care deficit. I encourage you to read the short report. (You can also take a look at information by geographic location via a link embedded in the document.) We intend to report again at intervals in the months ahead, including noting how the data evolves.

As a place where your patients can easily share their own care deficit experiences, PatientsFirst.ca is beginning to generate powerful information. We will use this information to help make the system better by sharing it with government, AHS and other system partners.

About team-based care

Speaking of partnerships, our colleagues in other health professions are tremendously important in both primary and acute care. You may be interested in my op ed article on this theme that ran in several Post Media papers last week. It was in response to an opinion piece regarding the role of Alberta’s invaluable nurse practitioners.

The AMA has long believed that each profession should be able to practice to their full scope. How that happens is important though. For example, in our hospital system, nurse practitioners work as members of specialized clinical teams and provide immense value. They are equally valuable in primary care but there is a higher risk of fragmentation and duplication of services if this happens outside of the team context. We need to avoid that outcome while maximizing the power of team-based care around each patient and their own family physician.

Reach me to share your thoughts any time, in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member).

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

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