The Prairie North Health Region is expanding its operations by moving into a bigger space, adding more physicians and combining additional services under one roof, a move that Vikki Smart, vice president of primary health services for PNHR, says will help to better serve Lloydminster and area.
The new location opened on March 2 in Suite 115 in the downtown Co-op Plaza, where Smart says they’ll be able to improve what they do with their new multidisciplinary approach to care.
“We will have a number of other services there all together. So there will be a pharmacy there, we have chronic disease management there, eventually we’ll have health and addictions, etc.,” she said. “Things happen more as a team in that setting.”
Smart said they can house up to 10 physicians in the new building and have room for more team members in terms of Prairie North service. They’ve already added three new physicians to their roster and are looking at specialists down the road.
They are also developing an after-hours walk-in clinic to relieve stress on the emergency room. Right now the walk-in hours are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursdays, with the exception of holidays.
“We’re looking at expanding that as well because that is one of those things in Lloyd that we really don’t have, is that after-hours service,” Smart said. “Everybody has to go to the emergency room and that’s not the best place to provide care for people that just really need to see a doctor.”
The new centre will have two procedure rooms, 17 examination rooms and will offer the ability to link patients with other health programs like diabetes education and nutrition services.
“We’re working together with mental health counsellors, with RNs, with dieticians, with RNs that specialize with chronic disease management and the pharmacist will play a role,” she said. “Part of our agreement with them is they’re going to be looking at - especially people who are on multiple medications - how does that work together? Is this really the best?”
Smart said she’s excited about this multidisciplinary approach and that they’ve even gone as far as to have their entire team work together in an open-concept office with all of their desks situated in one area.
This will improve the lines of communication and keep them clear between specialists.
“And that only benefits patient care and the patient is going to be at the centre of that.”
Appointments can be made with all seven PNHR physicians by calling the primary health care clinic at 306-820-5997. Clinic hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.