Congratulations to Our 2017 Award Recipients

Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice

The ACFP’s Patient’s Medical Home Award for Outstanding Family Practice recognizes excellence and leadership in patient and community care while exhibiting the principles of the Patient’s Medical Home. The Vision of the Patient’s Medical Home set forth by our national college, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, provides the optimal model and vision of patient and community care. Core elements of the vision include: patient-centredness, team-based care, timely access, comprehensive care, and continuity of care.

The ACFP is pleased to honour two clinics in Alberta—the Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic and Sylvan Family Health Centre.

Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic

The Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic is a collaborative, team-based family medicine clinic located in Sundre, Alberta. Our team includes experienced family physicians, nurses and highly trained staff who work together to provide world-class medical care in accordance with recognized best practices.

We are dedicated to providing comprehensive care that brings into play all aspects of health; this includes preventative health monitoring and working with our patients to promote healthy lifestyles.

We recognize that physicians, nurses and other health professionals bring different skills to patient care, and by working together we can provide better care of our patients than any of us could on our own.

Clinic Q&A

The best thing about working at our clinic is:

  • Our team is like family. Not only do they care immensely for each other, but also every patient and family that comes through the doors at MSMC. Each member of the team has and will go above and beyond what is expected to achieve an outcome that is absolutely best for the patient.
  • We work as a team.
  • I feel like part of a family that looks after each other and takes care of each other.

  • We all work together as a team. Everyone’s ideas are heard and valuable and we are not afraid to change. The physicians have faith in their staff to do the right thing.
  • For me the best thing about working at Moose &a Squirrel is the opportunity to be part of a fantastic team. I’m fortunate to work with people who are incredible at what they do, and who motivate me to be the best version of myself as well. Another thing I really appreciate is the fact that the entire team is valued for their contributions.
  • Our team is a family, and that includes our PCN members, our docs and staff, our learners and our patients. We all have the same goal which is achieving the best for our patients.

The biggest challenge or success we`ve had in adopting PMH in our clinic:

  • I believe our challenge and success are one in the same. By learning, through trial and error and using PDSA, we developed many protocols and tools within our EMR to increase our success in acquiring a fully developed PMH. The challenge was figuring it out on our own… The reward/success was becoming peer leaders in our province to share our knowledge with many physicians and support staff.
  • being flexible when other staff members are needed for palliative care, success….. support that a family and patient are given during this time
  • We are willing to try it new ideas. New ideas for change and improvement are welcomed. When ever I get bored and think of a new project I am given the trust and the freedom to try it out.
  • How to do opportunistic screening in a regular appt
  • Our best success is to have such a clean patient panel. This is so we know who our patients are and to make sure the physicians panels are appropriate for them.
  • Teaching new learners/locums what the PMH model is and how using it can not only improve patients care and experience but also make our experience at work SO MUCH better! I love going to my clinic and working!!

What advice would you give to other clinics:

  • Start small. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Progression comes from small actions every day. Don’t be overwhelmed at the whole picture, master one aspect at a time and grow from there. Be sure to communicate effectively with your team.
  • Patient comes first.
  • As a physician – trust your people, and give them autonomy in their work and the resources to get it done! Hire great people, talk with them about how to best take care of your patients, and let them go out and do great work!
  • Be willing to try new things. Just remember to start on a small scale.
  • You have to start by making your panels clean. And to make panel sizes appropriate. Everything else will fall into place as long as you have by in by all.
  • Start small and choose a champion to trial new changes – Resistance to change is normal and driven by fear. Demonstrate by modelling it that “new ways of doing things” and “outside the box thinking” can improve things for all!

One thing that you will be surprised to learn about our clinic:

  • Not only are we co-workers that are an effective team within the clinic…we play together too! From the Death Race team to the Ronald McDonald House cooking team, we play together outside of the clinic to stay connected.
  • We have done races in Canmore and Kelowna, hiked in Kananaskis, competed in the “MSMC Amazing Race”, explored Portland with a scavenger hunt…just to name a few of the many fun experiences we have had as a team away from the clinic.
  • Fostering and nurturing that team bond has allowed us to better communicate, and become an even more effective team!!
  • We all tend to get along really well as staff!!
  • We’ve successfully created a gold standard PMH within the existing Alberta health care system – without requiring our patients to direct-pay for a private ‘concierge’ model.
  • We are only 4 years old and have come this far.
  • I think people would be surprised to find out just how involved in the community our clinic is. Sundre is a unique community and I believe local businesses like Moose & Squirrel who place value on community involvement play a big role in maintaining the overall health of our community.
  • We are a small clinic that is driving to succeed … nothing is impossible when we put our heads together and try!

Sylvan Family Health Centre

Sylvan Family Health Centre is an innovative family medicine practice located in the picturesque community of Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Our team is composed of a variety of health care professionals, who each contribute a unique set of skills to better serve our patients and community.

We are passionate about being leaders in the delivery of primary care, and demonstrate a model of care that addresses the multifaceted needs of our patients.

SFHC has been participating in an initiative called ASaP (Alberta Screening and Prevention), and also actively participate in the Alberta

AIM process (Access Improvement Measures). We are also a pilot clinic for blended capitation and have a large on site interdisciplinary team.

Clinic Q&A

The best thing about working at our clinic is:

  • Every opinion matters, every member of the team is as valuable as the next. Our vision is based on providing accessible, compassionate, high quality care, in a collaborative environment. This means involving each member of our team in the process of matching our patients needs. While our clinical staff provide care to our patients, our administrative staff help to ensure that each patient that comes to our clinic feels they are welcomed, listened to, understood and cared about.

The biggest challenge or success we’ve had in adopting PMH in our clinic:

  • In order to know what is needed to best serve our patients, we first had to look at what we weren’t doing for them, and what obstacles were in place that were preventing access of our patients to their medical home. For example, building access, clinic hours, same-day services, weekend services, etc. Change takes time, setting up protocol flow mapping, addressing community needs and evaluating the data. With the goal of providing the best care possible for our patients. Setting up a good health allied team has been critical. In doing this we have become a stronger clinic community and a stronger medical home for our patients.

What advice would you give to other clinics:

  • It isn’t a fast process. You have to make a plan, review the data and then make changes. Don’t get discouraged that the results you are looking for aren’t instantaneous. Your patients will appreciate the medical home you have built for them, without even knowing the amount of work it took to get there.

One thing that you will be surprised to learn about our clinic:

  • Twice a year we close our clinic doors and move our team off site in order to spend an afternoon finding new ways to improve aspects of our clinic. We do team building exercises, cover new policies, and discuss things that are and are not working. Each team member is unique and diverse, and while we spend almost everyday together, we feel that spending time together outside the walls of the clinic builds a stronger team environment. Plus it’s super fun!