The Patient’s Medical Home- Saskatchewan Primary Care Reform
Family doctors are the backbone of our primary care system: They run their own local practices, work in nearby hospitals and emergency rooms, and tend to those in long-term care homes. Having a regular family doctor improves health outcomes, reduces mortality, decreases hospitalizations, and reduces healthcare costs.
The primary care system was already facing a family physician shortage before COVID, and the pandemic created an additional backlog that is hindering Saskatchewan patients from getting the timely care they deserve.
Every person in Saskatchewan deserves the expertise of a family doctor.
This crisis will worsen as more family physicians retire and fewer medical school graduates enter this profession unless we act now. We hear from our members that family medicine is not sustainable and family doctors need help.
Patients without a Family Physician
Write your MLA to advocate for family doctors
Family physicians are maxed out and cannot take on more work or more patients in the current system. Between seeing patients, administrative tasks, leadership roles, and paperwork family physicians are overburdened and burnt out.
Use the SCFP’s letter-writing tool below to contact your local Member of Legislative Assembly about the family physician shortage.
The Solution? The Patient’s Medical Home (PMH)
The Patient’s Medical Home is a new way of providing care that gives you access to a variety of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers. Your healthcare team works together to get you more services sooner, with your medical records following you within the team, and with connections to other parts of the healthcare system that are faster and easier.
We cannot keep doing the same thing and there is no additional capacity in the primary healthcare system the way it is currently functioning. We need systematic change to support family physicians to be leaders of healthcare teams and to practice comprehensive, team-based care. Working in collaborative teams, family physicians would be able to elevate the care provided by their colleagues, allowing them effective access to physician expertise.
Team-based needs to happen in the clinics where primary care physicians are practicing. Team members include nurse practitioners and physician assistants, but also family practice nurses, high functioning medical office assistants and scribes. Each clinics team will look different depending on the specific needs of the community it is serving.
The Patient’s Medical Home is more than just team-based care, it is a vision where every family practice across our Province offers the medical care that patients want — readily accessible, centred on the patients’ needs, provided throughout every stage of life, and seamlessly integrated with other services in the health care system and the community.
How would my experience in a PMH clinic be different?
The below document discusses how a patient experience is different in a Patient’s Medical Home Clinic.
Find out more about the PMH at https://patientsmedicalhome.ca/
Aren’t Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Networks the PMH?
The Patient’s Medical Home is the heart of every high functioning Health Network.
Health Networks and Patient’s Medical Home are not the same but are designed to work together. The Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) provides seamless care that is centered on individual patients’ needs, within their community, throughout every stage of life, and integrated with other health services. It’s based on comprehensive team‐based care with family physician leadership.
The PMH exists within, and is supported by, the larger, surrounding Health Network.
Multiple PMHs will exist within any Health Network.
We need to support family physicians to start working in a PMH, within their network. Currently some family docs have access to allied healthcare teams, but many do not and are still practicing without the support of a PMH.
A Patient’s Medical Home is also more than just a team, it is appropriate infrastructure in clinics, it’s connected care, it’s appropriate funding and support. These foundational supports will help physicians to provide timely, accessible, comprehensive, patient-centered care.
2018 SK Patient’s Medical Home Symposium
In 2018 the SCFP brought together stakeholders to start a conversation about how the PMH vision would benefit both Saskatchewan healthcare providers and patients. The final report is below.